Feeler for SML (Simple Markup Language)

Matthew Gertner matthew at praxis.cz
Tue Nov 16 14:11:43 GMT 1999

W. E. Perry wrote:
> I believe that Michael Champion has it right:  the behavior of an XML processor (and not just
> an SML processor) must be to 'fall forward'. Particularly in e-commerce, the salient criterion
> will be what the receiving processor can *do* (i.e., what processing it is capable of
> performing, in the service of its own particular interests) with whatever data, or subset of
> that data, it might be presented with by a particular XML document. To do no processing of
> otherwise usable data because some detail of a received document fails to meet a pre-defined
> criterion is to fail to do the very thing--processing--which a processor is expected to do in
> support of locally-defined function at the receiving node.

Okay, I strongly disagree with this. If a processor has a mechanism for
saying, for example, that it does not accept PIs, and nevertheless
receives a document with PIs, then there is reason to doubt that the
initiating system is conforming to its contract. Trying to "guess" that
the user really *did* mean to order an extra 100,000 widgets when a
non-conformant request has been received seems rather dangerous to me.
But I'd be interested to hear what others think.


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