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And some did argue against the Draconian Rule. Overall,
I think that it has kept some of the nonsense of syntax
level design from getting messier, and since that is
really the first and prime benefit of XML, it seems
bad pudding to argue about it now. Postel's
Law is optimistic and the Draconian Rule is pessimistic.
There may be room for argument, but there is no benefit that
accrues to users system-wide by relaxing the Draconian parse.
Postel's Law is a conception of interoperation that correctly
identifies the running code as the interoperable component,
but is applied incorrectly, IMO, to the end user. As far
as what XML buys us, I am happy to see a file fail if it
isn't well-formed. For anyone who doesn't, let them
eat HTML day in and day out. Remember, it takes
26 bowls of HTML to equal the nutrition of one bowl
of XML. :-)
If we wanted to be really Draconian, we would validate
on parse as was done in olden times. I assert that
many XML development environments would improve technically
and socially if that were the default and turning it
off were the option. It gives the development managers
a nice handle on finding bugs and non-cooperators.
From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
"This is not to say that all apps should have to process invalid
documents, or that they should work hard to guess what the author meant,
or that we should encourage or tolerate invalid documents. We should try
still try to get rid of invalid documents, but taking things out on the
users is the wrong way to do it.
The creators of XML were wrong. Postel's Law has no exceptions."