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Re: My last on IE6 and XML

Josh, perhaps it would make sense for us to have a checklist of
irrelevancies when having these discussions because they always seem to bog
down around intention, and it's impossible to read other people's minds, so
we can't possibly know for sure, so why discuss it. I find more often than
not that Microsoft people introduce this question first, I've seen it happen
many times. Whether it's deliberate or not is something only you know -- but
it's a bug and it's only relevant in court and in heaven, not among

I also think that interop is a higher goal than "100 percent conformance."
It's the reason why conformance is desirable. In the SOAP work we needed
both philosophies to settle questions, interop came first.

Net-net, we should be working as a team, not adversaries. The goal is to
give superior performance to users. To me it's almost as important that
Microsoft customers be satisifed with XML, because that means they'll use
it, and because we have interop, it gives me a market to sell software to.
This is the vision of XML at a commercial level. This is the hardest thing
for a big organization like Microsoft to pull off, because it creates its
own politics internally, who has time for politics outside.

I find that your messages often try to explain that it's not deliberate.
Having had so much experience working with BigCo's, no one needs to explain
this to *me* -- I get it. Even my own small company generates lots of fumes,
and it can be hard to get people to focus on the world outside, and we're so
much smaller than Microsoft. It takes discipline and it will take pain, I'm
sure of it. We're going to get to a point where some SOAP-based Microsoft
product goes golden and doesn't interop. It's Murphy's Law for standards.
Then how are we going to deal with it? With a flamefest or with engineering?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Joshua Allen" <joshuaa@microsoft.com>
To: <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2001 1:14 PM
Subject: My last on IE6 and XML

A. Allowing users to look at "broken" XML files in the browser without
   fatally failing, when those documents contain low-range ASCII

B. Failing when users try to view XML in the browser, when there are
   characters above 0x10000.

OK, here are the facts as I think they stand:

1. There are two conformance bugs in IE that are in discussion.  Nobody
is questioning that these are bugs, and they don't have to be "mistakes"
to classify as bugs.  It is also worth noting that these bugs do NOT
exist in Microsoft's "official" XML parser, MSXML.

2. 100% conformance should be everyone's goal.

3. There are many reasons that conformance bugs exist.  Deliberately
breaking interop is certainly one possibility, and I have tried to make
the case why other motivations make more sense in this situation.  But I
also think it's a waste of time to argue about what someone else was
*really* thinking.

4. Not all conformance bugs are equal.  All products have conformance
bugs, and they should all be fixed JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE CONFORMANCE
BUGS.  But beyond that, it is nice to be able to show factually how
these impact users, because that is a good way to motivate people to fix
the bugs and set priorities on which ones to tackle first.  David
Carlisle has given an example that users presumably cannot use MathML
within IE6 because of bug "B".  There is also evidence that fixing bug
"A" could have positive *and* negative impact on users (unless it was
fixed perhaps in the way that Julian suggested).  I appreciate these
sorts of examples and can forward them on.


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