· Naughties
· · 2004
· · · January
· · · · 16 (2 entries)

History of XML Error Handling · I encourage everyone to go and read Mark Pilgrim’s remarkable overview of the history of XML error-handling. His summary is In the end, Tim basically said “there are two camps here, they both have good points, we aren’t going to convince each other on this one” and then proceeded to compromise by doing it his way. Mark’s selection of out-takes from the debate would seem to support that narrative. Excuse me while I go off in a corner and shake off the megalomania. Let’s get real: even my Mom wouldn’t believe that I could single-handedly impose so fundamental a policy decision on this large and passionate a community by saying “Make it so.” What happened was, we had a really big, really long, really passionate argument on the subject; the camps came to be called “Draconians” and “Tolerants.” After this had gone on for some weeks and some hundreds of emails, we took a vote and the Draconians won 7-4. And indeed, some among the Tolerants cried foul over that vote. This was a good example of what we mean when we say “rough consensus” in that even those on the short side of the vote were willing to defend the process and the outcome; see Hollander and Sperberg-McQueen. Other interesting glimpses into this history may be found here and, giving the last word, as is appropriate, to Jon Bosak, here.
On Writing XML · In a recent essay I offered, given demand, to author some XML-writing software. There’s been quite a bit of feedback, and the consensus seems to be that the Java community is fairly well-served with XML writing software, but that this would be real useful at the C level. So that’ll be my coding fun for the month of February. The rest of this essay lists some of the Java options that people told me about, and introduces some issues around the C implementation ...
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