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Re: References to XML in SML specs

From: John Arwe <johnarwe@us.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 2009 11:17:49 -0400
To: ht@inf.ed.ac.uk (Henry S. Thompson)
Cc: public-sml@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFF36F26BB.77C8ECBD-ON85257591.0050B8BA-85257591.005407C4@us.ibm.com>
Henry, the working group needs your feedback on yesterday's (as yet 
incomplete) discussion on this topic [1].  To summarize:
(a) It was noted that the language proposed to the AC rep could be read to 
mean that ANY version of XML is allowed; thus impl1 using 4th edition only 
and impl2 using 5th edition only would be within the bounds of the 
proposed language.
(b) The working group has had a fairly long-standing goal that the base 
level of the specs (MUSTs, floors) together serve as an entry point: a 
minimum level such that conformant documents and implementations would 
enjoy "guaranteed" interoperability ("wide" perhaps being more accurate 
for the language lawyers).  The interpretation in (a) conflicts with this 
goal.
(c) Language was proposed to clarify our goal (require 4th edition, allow 
all others), and is in the minutes.  The wg believes this to be consistent 
with the (the wg's intended, at least) spirit of the earlier proposals.
(d) It was noted that our long-existing conformance statements appear to 
give explicit license to use XML 1.0 5th edition for implementations.
(e) It was noted that those same statements do not confer the same license 
on conforming documents, contrary to the intent in (b), so this 
inconsistency is still a 'good catch' on the part of the respondent.
(f)  It was noted that the wg intended to give similar license around 
other specs (XSDL, XPath), and those suffer the same dichotomy as XML does 
(d,e).  Also conflicts with (b).
(g) It was noted that a number of recent Rec-track documents, including 
recent Rec's, do not appear to have their references "in good order", i.e. 
if SML simply followed their lead it appears likely that the respondent's 
(SML) comment would not be addressed.  That results/ed in confusion, and 
to some degree a sense that the "best practice" in this area is 
ill-defined.  I took an action item to open a bug against Schema 1.1 on 
this issue, since that was one of the examples we consulted for best 
practice (sorry, I know you're an editor there :-) .
(h) There was/is a certain fear over the ramifications of fixing more than 
just the XML issue, wrt whether or not doing so would be considered 
substantive [2] and the implications if it were considered substantive.  I 
think (more so than I did yesterday, having mulled it over and consulted 
the definition of 'substantive' again) the working group could make a 
reasonable argument that (given our existing conformance statements) that 
implementations would not be affected, which was the worrisome aspect.  I 
doubt that anyone could reasonably claim that consistently giving license 
to use new "versions" (editions, versions, releases, a rose by any name) 
would invalidate their review...typically I think that is viewed as Good 
Housekeeping.
The working group decided yesterday (having already run over time) to 
continue this discussion and solicit your comments via the email list 
(hence, this email) so we don't needlessly lose the 2 weeks before we see 
you again.

[1] 
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-sml/2009Apr/att-0011/20090406-sml-minutes.html#item05
[2] http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/tr.html#transition-reqs

Best Regards, John

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Received on Tuesday, 7 April 2009 15:18:29 GMT

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