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

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> From: Hunsberger, Peter [mailto:Peter.Hunsberger@stjude.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2003 7:45 PM
> To: Julian Reschke; Joshua Allen; Simon St.Laurent;
> xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Postel's Law Has No Exceptions
> Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de> proposes:
> > The issue is different. If server A (sold by a big company and widely
> > deployed) accepts broken requests, clients may start relying
> > on that behaviour. Other, smaller vendors thereby have the
> > choice of either implementing to the spec (rejecting the
> > broken requests) or emulating the broken server behaviour.
> >
> > My point being, unless *everybody* is accepting the same kind
> > of broken requests, interoperability will actually be
> > *worse*. But if indeed everybody
> > *is* accepting the same requests, it would have made more
> > sense to actually define this as *correct* behaviour and have
> > draconian error checking.
> I don't think the situation works out that bad in reality: years ago I
> worked with a company that developed software for the exchange of X.12
> health care data and Blue Cross/Blue Shield ("standard") health care
> data.  Very regularly we would run into data produced by other vendors
> that did not conform to one standard or another.  I don't think we ever
> encountered a case where the vendor emitting the offending data was not
> willing to fix their software to emit conformant data...

I fear that depends on the vendor. I currently have a bug report open with a
major vendor where the bug was initially reported in April 2001 and still is
in. Right now they are asking for the "business impact" of the bug not being


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