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Gavin Thomas Nicol wrote:
> "Be conservative in what you produce, and liberal in what you consume" is the
> internet mantra..
It used to be. But as volume rose, and more and more Bad Stuff was
being generated, some applications switched to the conservative/
conservative style. The first case I know of was when C News decided
to drop Usenet articles with non-standard Date: headers, rather than
using a forgiving-but-expensive parser to try to make sense of them.
The howls were many, but compliance of news posting software went up.
(Return-to-sender isn't feasible on Usenet, where From: lines don't
necessarily contain usable email addresses, and random mixtures of
old-style and new-style news forwarders can cause a flood of
bounce-o-grams for a single posting.)
Similarly, HTML was officially conservative/conservative, in
practice conservative/liberal at first, and eventually liberal/liberal,
causing the well-known race to the bottom ("my browser understands
more disgusting tool-generated hacks than yours does"). At the
insistence of the major HTML browser manufacturers, therefore, XML
adopted a conservative/conservative strategy -- so far quite
> That said, even in these cases, I think control characters are not text.
All that is done by line-end characters in XML could be done by
markup, but we do not go so far as to ban them, or even to filter
them out at the parser level.
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