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RE: [Bug 4675] add text in section 5.3.3 to require that consumers and producers are required to implement at a minimum the uri scheme

From: Wilson, Kirk D <Kirk.Wilson@ca.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 09:46:12 -0500
Message-ID: <F9576E62032243419E097FED5F0E75F303276606@USILMS12.ca.com>
To: <public-sml@w3.org>

I would like to make a comment on this issue outside of bugzilla.  Maybe
writing my thoughts down will help settle things in my own mind.

There seems to have emerged two camps regarding the conformance/interop
issue.  One camp, which I will call the traditional view, is that
conformance yields interoperability.  This is a "traditional view" in
that all other standards (at least the ones I worked on) seem to share
this understanding.  Thus, we have "interop" sessions to insure that the
spec is written in sufficient specificity to insure that conformance
results in interoperable implementations.  I believe this view has been
expressed by some in the group and the proposed text was clearly written
with this traditional view in mind, e.g., "Use of the URI Reference
scheme...is the only *guaranteed* way of achieving *full
interoperability*."  And it was under this assumption that I originally
raised the question that lead Sandy and Valentina to compose the text
that John discussed in his comment (#22) below.

Now we also have John's view that these are "distinct" ideas. And, I
must admit, my mind (and probably my comments) have been bouncing back
and forth between these camps like a ping-pong ball.  My initial in-line
comments to Ginny's original proposal were, in fact, coming from this
second camp--thus I suggested dropping the "minimally"/"fully"
conforming concepts to something more "objective", meaning something
less indicative of a scale or spectrum, and in the end I had ended up
with a "conformance stack" and an "interoperability stack" that were
nevertheless interrelated.  The thought that bounced me back over the
net in my more recent comments and that made me seriously consider the
one "stack" view, consistent with the traditional view, but which yields
a scale of conformance as well as the stringent conditions for "full
conformance", which both Ginny and John have questioned, was the thought
that "Ok, what does conformance buy you other than a slap on the back,
"OK, you're conformant", if it doesn't yield interoperability?"  I
decided that conformance and interoperability should be intimately
linked.  But the questions are, Is there sufficient value to a slap on
the back to distinguish the two?  Is there anything more to spec
conformance in this case?  (I'm feeling a bounce back to the two ideas
view might be coming on.)

Perhaps we need to understand what is special about the SML-IF case, as
opposed to other standards conformance/interoperability cases, that has
gotten us into the discussion.  Apparently, the assumption that the
traditional view applies may not be workable in this case.   

Kirk Wilson, Ph.D.
Research Staff Member
CA Labs
603 823-7146
-----Original Message-----
From: public-sml-request@w3.org [mailto:public-sml-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 6:34 PM
To: public-sml@w3.org
Subject: [Bug 4675] add text in section 5.3.3 to require that consumers
and producers are required to implement at a minimum the uri scheme


------- Comment #22 from johnarwe@us.ibm.com  2007-12-12 23:33 -------
I'm glad Ginny marked this needsAgreement.

I think the text below is subtly confusing two distinct ideas,
conformance and
interop.  Conformance is something we define, and we should not be
changing it
at this late stage.  Interop is something we can describe conditions
conditions which either help or hinder.  1, 2, and 2i are conformance
definitions, essentially re-statements of text we've had for months.
The full
set of 2, 2i, 2ii, and 2iii describe conditions under which a document
will be
widely interoperable, also text we've had or discussed for some time.
happens to be true that widely interoperable documents will be "fully
conforming" (i.e. old level 2) documents, since 2i is part of both
but the reverse does not automatically follow.  I see no reason to
assert that
a document exploiting <sml:locator> for example is not fully conformant;
it is
true that (because locator support is optional) that such a document
will not
be as widely interoperable as one that embedded everything, but the two
separate and distinct (although related) issues.  As Kirk aptly put it,
is a spectrum of interop.

I propose we keep the definitions of 1, 2, and 2i for conformance, copy
2i to
the new interop section, and MOVE 2ii and 2iii to the new interop
That  gets us back to the old level 2 definition of conforming, and
let's us
talk about interop separately.

SML-IF defines two levels of conformance for SML-IF Documents:
1.      Minimal Conformance: A minimally conforming SML-IF Document MUST
to all requirements in this specification as described in the normative
2.      Full Conformance: A fullly conforming SML-IF Document MUST
adhere to
all requirements in this specification as described in the normative
In addition, it MUST satisfy the following conditions:
i.      Each non-null SML reference in the document is an instance of
the SML
URI reference schema [SML 1.1].
ii.     All documents are included as embedded documents [ref 5.2.1].
iii.    The schemaComplete attribute
(/model/definitions/@schemaComplete) has
an actual value "true".
Received on Thursday, 13 December 2007 14:46:29 UTC

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