AW: [Mono-list] XmlTextReader: MS compatibility, or W3C conformance?

Ian MacLean
Fri, 09 Jul 2004 22:27:33 +0900

Atsushi Eno wrote:

> Hello,
> Thanks for your point of view.
>> I could imagine that - if those bugs get reported to MS -
>> Microsoft will fix some of them in a next version of the .NET
>> framework. Till then, our highest priority should be to be 100%
>> compatible to the MS .NET framework behaviour and not to any
>> other standards.
> Well, I have to disagree in some points:
>     - With that "if", we cannot provide better solution than
>       Microsoft *at any time*. Also, to conform to that "if",
>       we have to make libraries vulnerable as well as Microsoft.
>       (That's extreme case? Yeah, but then we need certain lines.)
>       And if we just follow Microsoft, it won't fix any problems
>       in their libraries, since there is no better competitors.

agreed. Having more compliant libraries than ms is a great selling point 
for mono.

>     - Even if Microsoft fixes such problems, they will keep
>       old libraries lame, and thus "compatibility problem" will
>       remain there and in the next stage users will demand to
>       make .net 1.1 stuff as "compatible" with buggy old one.
> Moreover,
>     - We might lose some faithful developers that believes
>       standard is important (well, I have to say am apparently
>       such one of them that believes code is speech).

again - conformity to standards is important and if mono can do a better 
job than ms at this so much the better.

>     - Anyways most of .NET developers are ignorant of what
>       breaks compatibility, by using "\" in path, using MSSQL
>       specific operations etc.

hmm - I'd say thats a broad generalization. And even if its true it not 
a good reason for putting more obstacles than necessary in the path of 
developers writing x-platform .net code.

> Well, I don't intend to reject all standard-negative opinion but
> want to draw lines between MS compatibility and standard conformance.
> I don't want to be a black sheep here, so many of the developers
> believe that MS compatibility should take precedence at any time,
> I'll post more complete "fix" and wait anyone apply to cvs. I'd
> be glad to fix by myself if there is any rational reason.

The "ms compatibility mode" proposal introduced in another thread could 
make a good compromise. There would be a certain amount of overhead but 
it would make it easier to determine which exceptions/failures are 
compatibility related and smooth the porting process. Similar to the way 
browsers like mozilla have an "ie compatibility mode" so that they can 
display broken non-conformant ms allowable html but still make standards 
compliance a top priority. Having our cake and eating it too - with a 
slight cost in complexity.