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But isn't that exactly the safety net? That is, if someone sends me a
program where they expected PROVIDE and REQUIRE to load, and my
implementation doesn't load, I'll try to load the files myself in the right
order. If I get it wrong, I'll get an error message-- saved from making a
mistake, thus a safety net.

I'm not sure how it harms rather than aids portability, since you also say
that you expect vendors to provide their own version of it anyway.