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Re: Validity & Must Not/Should Not/May Not

From: Andrew Sidwell <takkaria@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2007 00:07:42 +0100
Message-ID: <469AA8BE.2050907@gmail.com>
To: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
CC: Smylers <Smylers@stripey.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

Robert Burns wrote:
> On Jul 15, 2007, at 4:58 PM, Smylers wrote:
>> Thanks.  But I'd still appreciate an example of an element/attribute/
>> whatever which could meet your definition of being invalid but not a
>> "must not".
> 
> I could provide an example like that, but its not relevant so let's
> pretend I can't. Its more important for you to realize that the more
> important issue is that we need to use the full vocabulary available to
> us as the writers of this recommendation. That involves requirements,
> <em>and</em>  recommendations, <em>and</em> options. And we have those
> for both document conformance and UA conformance.

No, really.  If you're not allowed to do something, how can it not be
invalid to do it?  If the spec says "to be conforming to this spec, you
must not use the word 'invalid' in the text of documents processed
following its rules", and you write a document including the word
"invalid", how is the document still conforming?

>>> Its not about just letting an author know what violated the must not
>>> and what hasn't fulfilled the must. It should be about all of the
>>> conformance criteria.  Why take the time to write other conformance
>>> criteria if we don't want he conformance checker to let the author
>>> know.
>>
>> Sure.  But if we have optional criteria, or criteria that we would only
>> like authors to respect but which we concede they don't absolutely have
>> to, then a document which doesn't meet those criteria still conforms to
>> our specification.
> 
> Yes. But again that's back to the false binary: conformance /
> non-conformance or validity / invalidity.

Sorry, but again, you either conform to the spec or you don't; there
isn't another state.  You may also follow various best practices,
mentioned or not mentioned in the spec; they are not conforming to the
spec, but conforming to best practices.  Sure, not all conformance
criteria are machine-checkable, but that doesn't mean that given a piece
of HTML, I can't tell you whether it conforms or not.

Andrew Sidwell
Received on Sunday, 15 July 2007 23:07:45 UTC

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