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Re: Testable assertion tagging for W3C specifications

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 17:29:48 -0400 (EDT)
To: Alex Rousskov <rousskov@measurement-factory.com>
cc: <spec-prod@w3.org>, <w3c-query-editors@w3.org>, <www-qa@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0205061729400.5803-100000@tux.w3.org>
Good point.

Chaals

On Mon, 6 May 2002, Alex Rousskov wrote:

  On Mon, 6 May 2002, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

  > ... not being able to test whether a specification is being met
  > means that it is less a specification than a general description
  > of an idea.

  I do not think the above is true in general. For example, there are
  numerous working implementations of HTTP specs while many HTTP
  statements cannot be tested in a pragmatic way. The primary goal of a
  specification is to enable building [compliant] implementations. This
  goal is different from enabling [compliance] tests.

  It would be great if all specs were 100% testable, but I do not think
  it is possible in practice, regardless of the specs language. My
  belief is based on a simple fact that both black- and white-box
  testing techniques cannot achieve 100% coverage of a complex program
  implementing the specs.


  Testability should definitely be a priority, but it would be sad if we
  get fewer good specs by accepting rigid and expensive testability
  requirements. A poor solution is often worse than a simple
  acknowledgment of the problem.

  Alex.






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Received on Monday, 6 May 2002 17:29:48 GMT

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