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Postel's principle

A good example of what Joel is talking about:

A certain old web browser for the (British) Acorn platform used to accept the british spelling of the 'center' tag, 'centre', aswell as the version in the standards. This resulted in quite a few web designers making pages using 'centre' that wouldn't display properly in other browsers. Because they were only testing it with the one browser they never noticed.

Matt
Monday, July 26, 2004

When you say "hat Joel is talking about", which of his writings are you referring to ?

Nemesis
Monday, July 26, 2004

Eh... the most recent post!

Matt
Monday, July 26, 2004

The Sunday, July 25 post is the one he's referring to.

AllanL5
Monday, July 26, 2004

Sorry guys, I thought it must be that one, but Joel doesn't actually say anything. He just quotes someone else in a document from 2001.

Nemesis
Monday, July 26, 2004

That "someone" is Marshall Rose.  May not mean a lot to you guys, but he is the inventor of said SMTP and authro/co-author of many, many more protocols.  He's a great guy and as near to genius as anyone I've ever met.

Of course, I say that with a whole lot of bias.  I used to be a former employee of his.  After the company went under, he was kind enough to extend my insurance benefits (out of his own pocket I believe) by a month to allow insurance to cover the birth of my youngest daughter.

Marshall Rose Fan
Monday, July 26, 2004

In no way should my poor grammar and spelling reflect on Marshall Rose. :)

Marshall Rose Fan
Monday, July 26, 2004

Hey Fan, I meant no disrespect to Marshall Rose in referring to him as "someone". My point was that it is not Joel writing about anything, it is just him quoting someone else, even if that someone else is Marshall Rose.

For the record, I must say that what you describe regarding the birth of your daughter was a very generous gesture.

Nemesis
Monday, July 26, 2004

Joel may not be saying anything explicitly. However, by quoting Marshall Rose, he is, I think, implicitly agreeing with Marshall's point, i.e. that liberal acceptance eventually leads to a mini disaster.

Gordon J Milne
Monday, July 26, 2004

Postel's has been coming up a lot in HTML, XML, RSS, Atom debates.  Be 'liberal in what you accept' seems pretty critical for protocols that may be hand entered, but with Web browsers it does seem to have become a mini disaster, where some browsers accept some mistakes, and others don't.

Keith Wright
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

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