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HTML-WG  February 1996

HTML-WG February 1996

Subject:

Re: How to encourage conformance

From:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Fri, 9 Feb 1996 13:43:12 -0500

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In a message dated 96-02-09 10:59:31 EST, [log in to unmask] (Ben
Combee) writes:

>My primary objection is that I don't feel a language standard document
>should describe how the language is implemented.  To use a different
>IETF example, look at RFC 1036 and its revision-in-progress, the news
>article standard.  There is currently a separate effort that awards
>newsreaders with a "Good Netkeeping Seal" if they are fully conformant
>and correctly support all of RFC 1036's headers.

What would the world be like if your C compiler took the same approach to
errors that most browsers are using? This C compiler would magically take
anything it considered an error and convert it to something legal. It would
also take a few things that were legal and morph them into something else (>
in strings for example).  As a result of this your source code would be full
of errors but you would have no way of knowing this since the compiler gave
no error indication.

Now your boss asks you to port the C code to a different platform. This
platform has an error-codeless C compiler too, but it's scheme for
automatically fixing the errors is completely different than the first
compiler's. 

How are you ever going to get this program to run correctly??? Neither
compiler gives any kind of error indication and the program fails to work
when ported.

The problem is that you were relying on the error behavior of the first
compiler to make your program run correctly. Since the error behavior is not
standardized the second compiler implemented it differently. But how are you
going to locate the error behavior you were relying on? Instead most people
call the vendor of the second compiler and complain that it is not Netscape
compatible.

Jon Smirl
[log in to unmask]






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