[RFC] SRS Section 2

Matthew Burgess matthew at linuxfromscratch.org
Thu Feb 3 13:17:22 PST 2005

Hui Zhou wrote:

> If it is a random XML file, one should hope it gets rejected because the 
> server shouldn't understand it. On the other hand, if the server 
> understands it, more than not it is a correct valid profile even though 
> the profile may not be dtd compliant. An example is HTML. Most web 
> browser accepts non-standard compliant html, does the user really care? 
> No, as long as it looks all right.

Hui, please read the XML spec regarding what the terms "well-formed" and 
"valid" mean.  I still have a hard time understanding how the server can 
possibly be made to understand a profile that isn't valid according to 
the DTD.  After all, it's the DTD (or other schema syntax) that tells 
the server (and the profile writer) what it should be able to 
understand.  What do you propose the server do with a tag like 
"<bankaccount>" or "<banana>" for example?  If the server is presented 
with something like this it has to bail out because the profile author 
obviously intended those tags to do something, but the server doesn't 
know how to handle them.  Even bailing out, is in itself an action taken 
because the server validated the profile - i.e. it parsed the profile 
and reached a tag it didn't understand and said to itself "this isn't 
valid, I'm going to tell the user they've screwed up somewhere".

> And the validataion won't help much on ensure a correct profile. Most 
> deadly mistakes are typos in commands such as "rm -r /", not those 
> unmatching tags. Validation just won't help in most situations.

Agreed, but at least if we can catch one class of errors it's one less 
frustration for the user than presumably silently ignoring profile 
errors, which is what you appear to be suggesting.



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