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Re: Proposal for precisely flagging optional specifications

From: James Hopkins <james@idreamincode.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2009 19:43:55 +0000
Cc: public-css-testsuite@w3.org
Message-Id: <11602A58-44E4-4BC1-B98C-E9582A2D0A34@idreamincode.co.uk>
To: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
>> The recognized 'may' META flag is unsuitable for flagging this,  
>> since the optional behavior in this case is out of scope of the  
>> test document itself. Also, the nature of a META element coupled  
>> with the restrictiveness of token values (where the 'may' value  
>> could be used) for the 'flags' attribute, means that authors have  
>> no way of flagging where the option within the specification  
>> actually lies. As a result, a reviewer may find it difficult to  
>> determine exactly what the optional behavior is, especially if the  
>> author has included a correctly-written assertion which should  
>> contain a "complete detailed statement expressing what specifically  
>> the test is attempting to prove".
>> To resolve this issue, I'd like to propose a new 'assumption' META  
>> field. The object of this field is to flag any optional behavior  
>> and, more importantly, describe what the optional behavior is and  
>> where it lies within the specification. For readability, one  
>> 'assumption' is allowed per META field, and multiple 'assumption'  
>> META declarations are also allowed. For example, when applied to  
>> tests based on the optional marker box generation, it would look  
>> like:-
>> <meta name="assumption" content="Support for marker box  
>> generation" />
>> Although the 'assumption' META declaration could conceivably be  
>> used in every test regardless of whether or not the test relies on  
>> optional behavior (since support for any specification could be  
>> assumed in advance of testing an implementation), it should be  
>> reserved only for tests that rely on optional behavior which cannot  
>> be described simply by the META 'flags' declaration.
>
> If the goal of this META is to aid the test's reviewer, then I think  
> just
> including an "if" clause in the assert should be sufficient.
>  "If the UA does this, then it must do that."

The reason that I suggested this addition, was because there's nothing  
currently on http://wiki.csswg.org/test/css2.1/format (or any of the  
other test authoring documents), that deal with the issue of  
describing optionality in the context of my example. My proposal deals  
with this issue without 'busying' the assert, as it is a separate  
mechanism entirely. However, if you're not willing to accept my  
proposal, then may I suggest a change to the assert description at http://wiki.csswg.org/test/css2.1/format 
, which would mention the use of the assert to describe optional  
behavior? 
Received on Saturday, 5 December 2009 19:44:34 GMT

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