Re: Use of LWSP in ABNF -- consensus call

Harald Alvestrand <harald@alvestrand.no> Tue, 15 May 2007 18:21 UTC

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Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 20:21:06 +0200
From: Harald Alvestrand <harald@alvestrand.no>
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To: Lisa Dusseault <lisa@osafoundation.org>
Subject: Re: Use of LWSP in ABNF -- consensus call
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Lisa Dusseault wrote:
>
>>
>> 2. The ABNF is a candidate for moving from Draft to Full. Will 
>> removing a
>> rule (that is already in use?) or otherwise changing the semantics of 
>> the
>> specification, at this point, still permit the document to advance? I 
>> had the
>> impression that moving to Full was based on some serious beliefs about a
>> specification's being quite stable. Making this kind of change, this 
>> late in
>> the game, would seem to run counter to that.
>
> Moving to Internet Standard is indeed something we do carefully, and 
> of course that means investigating proposed changes to make sure 
> they're appropriate, and setting a high bar for accepting them. I 
> believe that's what we're doing here, investigating carefully.
>
> I share your concerns about removing rules that are already in use -- 
> that would generally be a bad thing. However I'm interested in the 
> consensus around whether a warning or a deprecation statement would be 
> a good thing.
Removing features that have proved to be a Bad Idea has always been 
listed as one of the possible changes from Proposed to Draft - Draft to 
Full happens so rarely that I would be hesitant to claim that there's 
tradition for such changes there.

Despite this, I agree with the people who think that a warning comment, 
rather than removal of the rule, is the Right Way.

Harald