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The Robustness Principle Reconsidered (2011) (acm.org)
25 points by rrauenza 43 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 3 comments



HTML shows the downsides to the robustness principle. Any lenience in interpreting the spec will lead to a de-facto standard which in turn will make it harder to create new implementations: It is not enough to follow the spec, you also have to reverse-engineer existing implementations.

Only solution is to leave no room for undefined behavior in the spec.


In fact, you may be surprised to learn that there are not only two, but actually three universal certainties: Death, taxes, and the sendmail guy wishing for stricter protocols.


This policy has been a security disaster. Besides the obvious problems with undefined behaviors, it has made evolving protocols to fix problems often impossible.




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