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- From: John Cowan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: XML Dev <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 14:15:29 -0400
Michael Kay wrote:
> Thanks for the reference. I've read it now. I'm relieved to
> discover it does not recommend or assign a meaning to the
> phrase "MAY NOT".
You are correct. Mea culpa.
> Wherever "MAY NOT" appears in a (so-called) spec, it either
> means "MUST NOT" or it means "MAY OR MAY NOT", which is a
> synonym for "MAY", and which, as I remarked earlier, is
> formally equivalent to omitting the sentence.
I meant the latter: MAY or may not.
> >> I don't much like "may" either. Everything is permitted
> >> unless the specification prohibits it, a sentence whose
> >> verb is "may" therefore says nothing.
[snip my earlier, flippant response]
Seriously, though, what I wrote was not really a spec, but a
clarification of an existing spec. In that case, MAY is useful,
for it expresses behavior on which the client cannot depend,
but which may be provided.
John Cowan http://www.ccil.org/~cowan firstname.lastname@example.org
You tollerday donsk? N. You tolkatiff scowegian? Nn.
You spigotty anglease? Nnn. You phonio saxo? Nnnn.
Clear all so! 'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)
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