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RE: [xml-dev] RE: Application of Postel's Principle to XML

  Postel's law has nothing to do with how you deal with an imprecise specification.

 

Not true according to this ACM paper [1]:

 

    The intent of the Robustness Principle (Postel’s Principle) was to

    maximize interoperability …  particularly in the face of ambiguous

    or incomplete specifications.

 

/Roger

 

[1] http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=1999945

 

From: Michael Kay [mailto:mike@saxonica.com]
Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2013 5:27 PM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] RE: Application of Postel's Principle to XML

 

 

On 16/02/2013 22:02, Costello, Roger L. wrote:

Hi Folks,

 

I recently came across this statement in a requirement's document:

 

Verify using XPath that there are no elements or attributes

in an XML document with more than X amount of characters.

 

That seemingly simple requirement has ambiguities that senders and receivers must wrestle with. Here are the ambiguities:

 

1. Does "X amount of characters" include whitespace?

2. Can the XML contain mixed content?

Yet another irritating question from Roger, which like most of his others will probably lead to an interesting discussion.

First the irritation -

(a) what on earth is the point of posting an absurdly imprecise requirements statement and then telling us it's imprecise? Of course it is, so what?

(b) Postel's law has nothing to do with how you deal with an imprecise specification. It assumes that the specification is clear, and suggests that you don't insist that your input conforms to it.

Michael Kay
Saxonica


 

 



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