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Re: Relation to Standards Track

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 08:24:33 -0600
Cc: public-council@w3.org
Message-Id: <F97F6DB2-F2C6-44BE-A061-91FC64D1A112@w3.org>
To: timeless <timeless@gmail.com>

On 29 Nov 2012, at 8:17 AM, timeless wrote:

> First, you aren't using the simple English "specification", you're
> using the title-cased "Specification" (yes the explanation is
> lowercase).
> 
> Second, I think in English a "specification" is seen as heavier than a
> "recommendation".

Those words mean different things:

 * Recommendation: "W3C Recommends this."
 * Specification: "This document specifies a format or protocol"

Those are apples and oranges.

That's why I think we need a sort of status class name ("Report") whatever the nature of the document ("use cases", "specification", "guidelines", "primer", ...)

Ian

> 
> Third, consider Wikipedia's page on the subject [1]:
> Specification (technical standard)
> "Specification" redirects here. For other uses, see Specification
> (disambiguation).
> 
> As far as Wikipedia is concerned, a specification _is_ a technical standard.
> 
> The reason for this suggestion thread is to prevent people from
> misinterpreting resultant documents.
> 
> Thinking about this further and certainly based on this message, I
> think the word "specification" shouldn't be in documents.
> 
> Since you were trading on "simple English", how about substituting
> "proposal" everywhere that "specification" is currently used.
> 
> [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specification_(technical_standard)
> 
> On 11/29/12, Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org> wrote:
>> 
>> On 27 Nov 2012, at 12:48 AM, timeless wrote:
>> 
>>> (I may have written on this before, but, oh well.)
>>> 
>>> Relation to Standards Track [1].
>>>> The specification must not cause confusion about its status, in
>>>> particular with respect to W3C Technical Reports.
>>>> For example, specifications must not suggest that they are standards or
>>>> on the standards-track.
>>> 
>>> I think this second sentence is problematic on its own.
>>> 
>>> CGs can publish documents as proposals for specifications, but not
>>> specifications.
>> 
>> Why do you say that?
>> 
>> What do you mean by "specification?" I think it's ok to use the word in its
>> English-language sense of "specifies something."
>> 
>> I could imagine this scenario or similar:
>> 
>> Class: CG Draft Report or (when done) CG Report
>> Instance (of title): "The Foo Specification"
>> 
>>> 
>>> "Documents SHOULD indicate that they are NOT specifications. They MAY
>>> indicate that they are PROPOSALs for specifications. With the
>>> following suggested text: «This is not a specification.» «This is a
>>> proposal for a specification.»"
>>> 
>>>> For draft specifications,
>>> ...
>>>> <p>Copyright © YEAR(S) the Contributors to the SPECIFICATION NAME/VERSION
>>>> Specification,
>>> 
>>> "Specification" should be replaced with "DRAFT Specification".
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> 
>>>> For final specifications,
>>> 
>>> Personally, while CGs aren't publishing REQ track documents, I think
>>> that the outcome should be FINAL PROPOSED Specification.
>>> 
>>>> The following paragraph appears at the top of each draft specification:
>>>> <p>This specification was published by the <a
>>> 
>>> Insert DRAFT.
>>> 
>>>> The following paragraph appears at the top of each final specification:
>>>> <p>This specification was published by the
>>> 
>>> Insert FINAL PROPOSED
>>> 
>>> 
>>> [1] http://www.w3.org/community/reports/reqs/
>>> 
>>> --
>>> Sent from my mobile device
>>> 
>>> 
>> 
>> --
>> Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)    http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/
>> Tel:                                      +1 718 260 9447
>> 
>> 
> 
> -- 
> Sent from my mobile device
> 
> 

--
Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)    http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/
Tel:                                      +1 718 260 9447
Received on Thursday, 29 November 2012 14:24:39 GMT

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