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Fwd: Best practice for referring to specifications which may update

From: Thomas Roessler <tlr@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 09:28:25 +0100
Cc: Thomas Roessler <tlr@w3.org>
Message-Id: <9A11A148-BC29-4E89-9650-BD2C470781AD@w3.org>
To: XMLSec WG Public List <public-xmlsec@w3.org>
FYI.  Henry's proposed boilerplate reference language might make sense for our specs, too, where we normatively reference moving targets.  Something very similar might also make sense for some of the informative references.

Regards,
--
Thomas Roessler, W3C  <tlr@w3.org>







Begin forwarded message:

> From: ht@inf.ed.ac.uk (Henry S. Thompson)
> Date: 28 October 2009 15:57:48 GMT+01:00
> To: www-tag@w3.org
> Cc: "C. M. Sperberg-McQueen" <cmsmcq@blackmesatech.com>
> Subject: Best practice for referring to specifications which may update
> archived-at: <http://www.w3.org/mid/f5biqdzd0r7.fsf@hildegard.inf.ed.ac.uk>
> 
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> In the context of an extended discussion at the recent TAG f2f
> regarding references to potential time-varying specification URIs [1]
> I took an action [2] to suggest wording for a Best Practice in this
> area, based on wording developed by C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, who also
> reviewed and contributed to the following.
> 
> Here's what I think this might look like:
> 
>  When citing a W3C specification in the normative references section
>  of another specification, care should be taken to be clear about the
>  status of editions of the referenced specification other than the
>  then-current one.  In order to on the one hand acknowledge that
>  implementations sometimes lag behind specifications, and on the
>  other that implementations of new editions of referenced
>  specifications should be encouraged, wording along the following
>  lines should be used:
> 
>    Left-Handed Sewer Flutes 1.0 (Second edition), P.D.Q. Bach and
>    Peter Schickele, Editors.  World Wide Consortium, 29 February
>    2009.  The edition cited (http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/REC-lhsf-20090229/)
>    is the earliest appropriate for use with this specification.
>    Conformant implementations may follow the edition cited and/or any
>    later edition(s).  The latest edition of LHSF 1.0 is available at
>    http://www.w3.org/TR/lhsf/.  It is implementation-defined which
>    editions of LHSF 1.0 are supported.
> 
>  The appropriateness of this approach is based on the W3C rules
>  regarding what constitutes an acceptable new edition of an existing
>  W3C Recommendation.  For references to publications from other
>  standards bodies with similar expectations regarding backwards
>  compatibility, for example IETF or ISO, a similar approach to
>  citation is also called for, along the following lines:
> 
>    The Extension of MIME Content-Types to a New Medium, N. Borenstein
>    and M. Linimon.  Internet Engineering Task Force RFC 1437, 1 April
>    1993.  RFC 1437 was current at the date of publication of this
>    specification, but may be updated or obsoleted by later RFCs.
>    Conformant implementations may follow the RFC cited and/or any
>    later RFCs which update or obsolete it.  It is
>    implementation-defined which RFCs are supported.
> 
>    Intelligent transport systems -- Physical characterisation of
>    vehicles and equipment -- International airline seat pitch
>    measurements. Part 1: Measurement architecture.  International
>    Standard ISO 314159-1:2009, 29 February 2009.  The referenced
>    specification may from time to time be amended, replaced by a new
>    edition, or expanded by the addition of new parts.  See
>    http://www.iso.org/iso/home.htm for up-to-date information.
>    Conformant implementations may follow the edition cited and/or any
>    amendments etc.  It is implementation-defined which amendments
>    etc. are supported.
> 
>  In cases where many references require similar treatment, a blanket
>  statement at the top of the references section may be more
>  appropriate:
> 
>    Dated references below are to the earliest known or appropriate
>    edition of the referenced work.  The referenced works may be
>    subject to revision, and conformant implementations may follow,
>    and are encouraged to investigate the appropriateness of
>    following, some or all more recent editions or replacements of the
>    works cited.  It is in each case implementation-defined which
>    editions are supported.
> 
>   and then simply
> 
>    Left-Handed Sewer Flutes 1.0 (Second edition), P.D.Q. Bach and
>    Peter Schickele, Editors.  World Wide Consortium, 29 February 2009
>    (http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/REC-lhsf-20090229/).  The latest
>    edition of LHSF 1.0 is available at http://www.w3.org/TR/lhsf/.
> 
>    The Extension of MIME Content-Types to a New Medium, N. Borenstein
>    and M. Linimon.  Internet Engineering Task Force RFC 1437, 1 April
>    1993.
> 
>    Intelligent transport systems -- Physical characterisation of
>    vehicles and equipment -- International airline seat pitch
>    measurements. Part 1: Measurement architecture.  International
>    Standard ISO 314159-1:2009, 29 February 2009.  See
>    http://www.iso.org/iso/home.htm for up-to-date information.
> 
>  All of the above formulations assume a definition of
>  'implementation-dependent' along the following lines:
> 
>    If a choice is described as 'implementation-dependent', then
>    conformant implementations must document which choice they make.
> 
> Comments welcome.
> 
> ht
> 
> [1] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/2009/09/23-minutes#item03
> [2] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/group/track/actions/303
> - -- 
>       Henry S. Thompson, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh
>                         Half-time member of W3C Team
>      10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB, SCOTLAND -- (44) 131 650-4440
>                Fax: (44) 131 651-1426, e-mail: ht@inf.ed.ac.uk
>                       URL: http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~ht/
> [mail really from me _always_ has this .sig -- mail without it is forged spam]
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Received on Thursday, 12 November 2009 08:28:35 GMT

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