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   RE: [xml-dev] Postel's Law Has No Exceptions

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  • To: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>,<xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Postel's Law Has No Exceptions
  • From: "Joshua Allen" <joshuaa@microsoft.com>
  • Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2003 15:38:49 -0700
  • Thread-index: AcNmoBbphNNHgykPQf2roqPIpVordAAAPxxA
  • Thread-topic: [xml-dev] Postel's Law Has No Exceptions

> > "The creators of XML were wrong. Postel's Law has no exceptions."
> Just to be clear, this is Aaron Swartz's argument, not mine.   I
> disagree with Aaron, but for reasons that are not yet coherent enough
> post.  I figured his provocation was worth some thought, however.

A fine permathread.  I often find myself defending Postel's law against
those who feel that they have discovered an exception.  

I am not a fan of those who claim that XML design is a counterexample to
Postel's law.  It's true that XML is not very liberal in what it
accepts, but that is not the same as saying that it is OK to be liberal
in what you send -- I think we risk implicitly endorsing "liberal
senders" by heralding the death of Postel's law.  I know I have seen my
fair share of people who think it is OK to send utter crap out on the
wire since "it is the receiver's responsibility to catch the error --
and stop mentioning Postel's law -- some pundit told me it doesn't apply
to XML".


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