Re: Some Mallard feedback

On Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 9:32 PM, Matthew Paul Thomas <mpt canonical com> wrote:
> Shaun McCance wrote on 05/10/09 16:28:
>>> 5.  It's XML. This would make sense if XML5 was anywhere near
>>>     standardization, but in XML's current state, the slightest syntax
>>>     or packaging mistake will leave an already-stressed user looking
>>>     at an error message instead of a help page.
>> Seriously?  Do I need to list all the reasons it should be XML?
>> If there's a syntax error, FIX IT.  Do not rely on the parser
>> to try to auto-correct it and guess at what you wanted.
> It's not about guessing, it's about robust and predictable error
> handling, like CSS and HTML5 have. (And if you took the "small subset of
> HTML5" approach I suggested above, WebKit or Gecko would give you
> HTML5's error handling for free.)
>>                                                          We
>> have tools upstream that validate our files before we ship
>> them.  And I'm going to assume our distros' packagers aren't
>> completely incompetent.

I don't really have a view on this issue myself because I don't feel
that I understand the issues enough, but I felt that it's worth
pointing out that actually, it's easier than it seems for invalid
files to creep into the distribution, whether from upstream or ISVs.

By way of example, this is a list of invalidity issues in the Gnome
User Guide in Ubuntu 9.04 (with version 2.26 of Gnome).

Maybe some of those errors come from Ubuntu translators, maybe some of
them come from upstream translators, I don't know. Anyway, the
upstream (Shaun) or Ubuntu maintainer (me) between us didn't have time
or opportunity to check the files (my apologies if it's all me, but I
don't think it is). Probably yelp is robust enough to open all or most
of them, but the reality is that errors can easily creep into the
distribution, from whatever direction that happens. I don't know how
common they might be, and perhaps the problem can be corrected by
better education among packagers, but I thought I'd put this out there
as an example of the problem.

Matthew East
gnupg pub 1024D/0E6B06FF

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