Simon Willison’s Weblog

2 items tagged “draconian”

My Universal Feed Parser was conceived as a weapon against what I considered the gravest error of XML: draconian error handling. Recently, someone asked me to implement a switch that makes it not fall back on lax parsing in the case of an XML wellformedness error. I said no, not because it would be difficult to implement, but because that defeats its entire reason for being.

Mark Pilgrim # 5th August 2008, 10:52 pm

Draconian failure on error is not the answer problems of Postel’s law. Draconian error handling creates an unstable equilibrium in Game Theory terms —it only lasts until one player breaks the rule. One non-Draconian XML5 implementation in key client product and the Draconian XML ranks would break. Well-specified error recovery is the right way to implement the liberal part of Postel’s law.

Henri Sivonen # 20th March 2008, 2:43 pm