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Postel's Law -- The Robustness Principle

Postel's Law -- The Robustness Principle

Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send

Software should be written to deal with every conceivable error, no matter how unlikely; sooner or later a packet will come in with that particular combination of errors and attributes, and unless the software is prepared, chaos can ensue. In general, it is best to assume that the network is filled with malevolent entities that will send in packets designed to have the worst possible effect. This assumption will lead to suitable protective design, although the most serious problems in the Internet have been caused by unenvisaged mechanisms triggered by low-probability events; mere human malice would never have taken so devious a course!

Not sure why I’ve never seen this before. I guess I never had a call to read the RFC relating to internet host communication layers.

From RFC 1122 section 1.2.2

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