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RE: misuse of "conformance testing"?

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2007 08:47:28 -0600
To: "Hausenblas, Michael" <michael.hausenblas@joanneum.at>
Cc: www-qa@w3.org, public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org
Message-Id: <1172933248.21236.27.camel@dirk>

On Sat, 2007-03-03 at 13:39 +0100, Hausenblas, Michael wrote:
> [...] the TS is a set of  necessary, but not necessary and
> sufficient conditions.

A conformance test suite serves as both necessary and
sufficient conditions.

> ... as far as I understand it - conformance
> testing (in finite time) wouldn't be possible at all ;)

For open data formats/protocols, indeed, conformance testing
is quite impractical.

"Conformance testing" makes the most sense for physical
standards like "must withstand 20 lbs of force", and
when some conformance testing lab is the very definition of what
the standard means, like "UL listed".

I suppose there are some cases when conformance testing
makes sense for software; I think device drivers
can be "Microsoft certified" or something if (and
only if) Microsoft's certification labs checks them out.

But for typical W3C interoperability specs, a "conformance test suite"
is an absurd notion indeed.

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
D3C2 887B 0F92 6005 C541  0875 0F91 96DE 6E52 C29E
Received on Saturday, 3 March 2007 14:47:35 UTC

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