W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rif-wg@w3.org > December 2006

Re: types of conformance

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 18:57:42 -0500
To: edbark@nist.gov
Cc: W3C RIF WG <public-rif-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20061218235742.8EA2F4F140@homer.w3.org>

> In my experience, the first concern is to define "conformance of a document" 
> ...
> Then we can talk about conformance of a tool that produces one of those. 
> ...
> And then, maybe, we can talk about conformance of a tool that consumes one of
> those RIF resources.  The problem with this "class of conformance" is that we
> can't really specify what such a tool will do -- we can only specify that it 
> must interpret the RIF resource as specified in this Recommendation, and that
> whatever actions it takes that may be driven by that resource must be 
> consistent with the interpretation provided in this Recommendation.  Here 
> conformance to a dialect means that the tool is not required to accept RIF 
> resources that do not conform to one of the specified dialect(s)/subset(s) to
> which it claims conformance.

I think the situation you're describing is this: every system which
consumes RIF handles some features, determined by the implementers for
each release.  The release notes for each version would describe, in
detailed technical prose (re-written by the marketing department) all
the features they implement to some degree in that version, and maybe
what the restrictions are on the implementations.  And books come out
with big compatibility tables saying feature X is implemented well in
products A, B, and C, poorly in D and E, and not at all in F, G, and H.
(The others products on the market are not listed, and the book grows
frustratingly out of date...)

This is what happens whenever a spec is too hard to implement, or
doesn't define a bar for conformance.

Yes, we could do that, but personally I'd rather set a bar.

> >>>Dialect -- but I think users need to be warned (at least in "standards
> >>>mode") when they create rules outside the mapping.  Are you okay with
> >>>that?
> >>
> >>This is for the vendor to do. Vendors are the ones who define the mapping
> >>for each particular product.
> Exactly.  We cannot specify what a conforming RIF producer does with respect 
> to some other unspecified rules language. 

Vendors specify the mapping; we specify the features they have to map to
-- or tell the user if they cannot -- right?

    -- Sandro
Received on Monday, 18 December 2006 23:57:52 GMT

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