[tz] tabs vs spaces

Robert Elz kre at munnari.OZ.AU
Fri May 3 19:56:49 UTC 2013

    Date:        Fri, 3 May 2013 17:30:34 +0000
    From:        Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele at microsoft.com>
    Message-ID:  <a5598fbf7f2f46dd818bd0dcf00e7564 at BLUPR03MB168.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>

  | That makes it even harder?  Because presumably the code behavior
  | changes too, which would be harder to adapt to.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say there, but of course, if the file
(input file) format changes, the code changes too - its behaviour changes in
that it processes the changed input, whatever that is - but the output
format remains the same (generally) - it is actually a quite simple format.

  | IMO this seems like a further argument for XML as it's pretty easy
  | to extend some things w/o breaking other stuff

But that turns out to be useless for anything more complex that changing
rules about separators between fields, which isn't the kind of change we
are likely to want to make - for the content that matters, the parser has
to understand all of it, in order to correctly make sense of the input.

Unlike other uses where it makes sense to process some or (relevant parts of)
the data and simply ignore anything unknown, for converting the rules into
the transition points, all of the data needs to be understood.

The most likely reason for change is to add a new specification mechanism,
to allow specification of something that we cannot currently say (which
has not needed saying in the past.)   A parser that cannot handle the new
specification cannot process the data - whether the input format is XML,
JSON, the current zic format, or anything else.


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