[A picture of private offices at Fog Creek Software] Alert! This ancient trifle retrieved from the Joel on Software archive is well-past its expiration date. Proceed with care.

Joel on Software


by Joel Spolsky
Sunday, July 25, 2004

I know that Rome empties out in August, but if any Joel on Software readers plan to be there on Monday, August 16th, it would be nice to get together for dinner. So far, we've done these dinners in Berkeley, Oslo, and Montréal, with great success. We'll take over a room in a restaurant, eat, drink, be merry, and talk about software development. If you can attend, or would like to suggest a good place to meet, post a message here.

Marshall T. Rose, in RFC 3117: “Counter-intuitively, Postel's robustness principle (‘be conservative in what you send, liberal in what you accept’) often leads to deployment problems. Why? When a new implementation is initially fielded, it is likely that it will encounter only a subset of existing implementations. If those implementations follow the robustness principle, then errors in the new implementation will likely go undetected. The new implementation then sees some, but not widespread deployment. This process repeats for several new implementations. Eventually, the not-quite-correct implementations run into other implementations that are less liberal than the initial set of implementations. The reader should be able to figure out what happens next.”

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