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

From: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2007 18:21:24 -0500
Message-Id: <D50CCC5D-944B-4CC8-A5D3-B9B3CB8C9BA3@robburns.com>
To: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

On Jul 15, 2007, at 6:07 PM, Andrew Sidwell wrote:

> 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?

Just drop it. I could do this, but it would just it would just be a  
sign of how overly pedantic this i getting and you would feel silly.  
Again the important thing here is that conformance is bigger than  

>>>> 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.

When you put it that way yes: i agree. You either conform to the spec  
or you don't. However, as an author I'm much more interested in the  
quality of my conformance than a simply binary "state". As someone  
participating  in drafting this spec I want us to be sure to use all  
of the qualities of conformance available to us to make the best spec  
we can. I don't understand why this is controversial.

Take care,
Received on Sunday, 15 July 2007 23:21:35 UTC

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