Anne van Kesteren

On error handling

Having an interesting discussion with Shane McCarron from the HTML WG on error handling in XHTML 2.0. All archived on www-html-editor.

No clear error handling is exactly what brought the web at the point it is today.

Fascinating. And here I always thought it was lack of conformance to standards.

Well, at some point browsers implemented error recovery because it was not specified what should be done upon encountering errors. This led to people rely on these errors as people don’t build against specifications, but against implementations. This led implementors to have to reverse engineer the market leader for said error recovery.

This happened with HTML. This happened with CSS. This happened with SVG. The CSS WG is working on fixing the CSS problem. The SVG WG is working on fixing the SVG problem. A couple of browser vendors are working on fixing the HTML problem. The HTML WG introduces a new problem, bluntly said.