Non-Validating XML Parsers: Requirements

John Cowan cowan at
Mon Aug 3 21:43:18 BST 1998

Michael Kay wrote:

> I don't know offhand what RFC 2119 says on the matter, and I
> haven't got time to look, but any set of rules that includes
> the term "may not" is liable to be misinterpreted by half
> its audience. When I am reviewing specifications, "may not"
> always gets a thumbs down.

*sigh*  I do wish people wouldn't review things without reading
them.  I happen to agree with you about MAY NOT, but that's
what RFC 2119 says.  The RFC is about 600 words long, BTW, and
here's a link: .

> I don't much like "may" either. Everything is permitted
> unless the specification prohibits it, a sentence whose main
> verb is "may" therefore says nothing.

*Everything*?  So if a specification for a C compiler doesn't
*say* that compiling a strictly conforming program does *not*
make demons fly out of your nose, then the compiler is allowed
to do that?

John Cowan		cowan at
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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