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Re: Some draft code for mobileOK Basic Tests RI

From: Sean Owen <srowen@google.com>
Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 15:42:10 -0500
Message-ID: <e920a71c0702061242v7d8b57e5s504229be4db5d649@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Jo Rabin" <jrabin@mtld.mobi>
Cc: public-mobileok-checker@w3.org

On 2/6/07, Jo Rabin <jrabin@mtld.mobi> wrote:
> > But the hard part, the heavy lifting is of course producing that
> > intermediate doc. Implementing code that produces this intermediate
> > representation seems like it can't be done in a language-neutral way.
> > There are some details here like wrestling with encoding and image
> > formats and CSS that can't be described by a transform.
> >
> > Given that, I don't yet see the value in the additional code and
> > performance overhead needed to generate the intermediate document. It
> > may save a little bit of additional code, but, it's the code for the
> > easy part, like running some XPath queries.
> >
> Well, I'm not clear what additional code is involved? You need to do all
> the (pre)processing anyway, so why not just serialise the results of
> that processing as XML. That makes the information available not just to
> the mobileOK Basic tests but also to some aspects of mobileOK (full) and
> to other ad hoc tasks.

Are we talking about the results of the tests? it seems obviously
useful to make test results available in some XML format.

I believe the pre-processing is the hard part and must already be
implemented in a concrete language like Java. That seemed to make the
idea of a platform-neutral implementation infeasible, so this doesn't
obviously help the goal of portability.

Extensibility seems like the key point here -- exposing more about
what happens during the tests. I can imagine recording so much
information about the document and results of accessing it and linked
resources and errors and so on, such that so much processing has been
done already that an XSLT's simple conditional logic is enough to
implement the last 5% of the test logic and produce results.

In particular, I think that "if" statements in the tests present a
problem. I imagine we have to collect information about both the "if"
and "else" branches of the test so that the XSLT can select between
the two later... or else put that logic into the preprocessing, which
detracts from the point of the XSLT to begin with.

In and of itself, it does not seem worth the effort. But again,
extensibility may indeed be worth the trouble. I know you guys are
going to want to add on to the tests and this must be accommodated.

What about greatly expanding the information supplied with the test
results? If I'm right, and preprocessing is 95% of the work, then
producing a rich intermediate state doc is not so different from
producing a rich results document. For example, James's idea to supply
the repsonse status, headers, body, etc in the results seems entirely
reasoanble -- and surely that can be serialized to XML. If that's what
we're talking about then we entirely agree.

I suppose I'd also just imagined that anyone who wanted to augment the
tests would probably have to change the code to begin with, and it's
open source, so, no big deal.

If we're talking about extensibility in the context of localization,
then that can surely be handled directly.

What kind of extensibility does this approach meaningfully buy you,
or, what's the use case you have in mind?


> > I think any kind of prototype is great at this point as we knock
> > around ideas. Prototyping the bit that produces this intermediate XML
> > document seems like the most crucial next step for that approach. We
> > probably want to define an XML format for the test results too.
>
> Agreed with that, but I guess as part of a decision making process. We
> do need to come to a conclusion in a reasonably timely way. So, what do
> we need to know and in how much detail do we need to know it?
>
> Just to repeat dotMobi's invitation to discuss all this F2F in Dublin.
> If we could assess willingness to attend, timescale and agenda, then I
> think that would frame prototyping and other preparatory activities ...

Agreed and roughly speaking we need to figure out how to proceed in
the next two weeks so as to have something reasonable to show by the
release of mobileOK Basic Tests.

I just saw James's additional email and I think we mostly agree that
the tests should generate a lot of information beyond simple results,
and in XML form, to aid extensibility. I agree. I suppose I only ask
why it has to be something different from the results doc.

 I am not sure I can make it to Dublin by next week, so how about a
conference call for all interested parties? If we're really fairly
close in opinion I think we can sort that out in a call. Feel free to
pick a time that's early for the east coast of the US.

Sean
Received on Tuesday, 6 February 2007 20:42:27 GMT

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