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Re: Normative in UAAG10 (and other W3C TRs)

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2001 04:35:15 -0500
Message-ID: <3AAB46D3.F16C88C3@w3.org>
To: Harvey Bingham <hbingham@acm.org>
CC: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Harvey Bingham wrote:
> 
> Summary:
> 
> I suggest a paragraph in UAAG10 giving definition to "Normative" and to
> either "Informative" or "Non-normative." Some readers won't be familiar
> with the technical meanings of these words.

Normative = you have to do it for conformance.
 
> Such paragraph seems useful boilerplate for all WAI Technical
> Recommendations that use normative.
> 
> In UAAG10 need to explain in context how normative applies to checkpoints.
> I do not find such. Since they are not used within the checkpoints
> in section 2, the "sometimes normative, sometimes not" qualification
> from section 3 Conformance can be confusing.

I'm not sure I agree that the information you were seeking isn't
there. From section 3.1: "A user agent conforms unconditionally
to this document if it satisfies all of the requirements 
of all of the checkpoints."

Then it goes on to explain conditional conformance. Therefore,
people can make statements of the form "I conform unconditionally
since I satisfy all the requirements of all of the checkpoints".

Furthermore, at the beginning of section 2 it states:

   "The statement of the checkpoint. The statement of 
    the checkpoint is one or more requirements that must be
    satisfied by the user agent (i.e., the "subject of the claim) 
    for the purposes of conformance. The "user agent" may
    consist of more than one software component, as explained
    in the section on well-formed conformance claims."

And then:

  "Informative notes about the checkpoint. These notes do not
state       
   requirements that must be satisfied as part of
   conformance; they are informative only. They are meant to 
   clarify the scope of the checkpoint through further
   description, examples, cross references, and commentary."

So I'm not sure what's missing, except that we don't say
"normative means you do it for conformance". Are you looking 
for that sort of statement?

I'm happy to make a statement that:
  normative = you do for conformance.
  informative/non-normative = not required for conformance.

  
[snip]

> 3. Clarifications in UAAG10:
> 
> I believe that in section 2 early you should indicate that applicable
> checkpoints are normative (some as qualified in section 3.) Notes are
> informative. You do only state the latter.

The text I quoted above (that says that checkpoints = requirements)
is from section 2.
 
> In UAAG10 Section 3. Conformance
> 
>    "This normative section defines what it means to conform to this document."
> 
> [Here put meaning of normative (and contrast it with non-normative or
> informative.]
> 
> In it is reference to [RFC 2119]. In that reference there is no mention
>    of either Normative or Informative.
> 
> In Subsections 5.2 Normative References and 5.3 Informative References
> 
> Normative only applies to References, not to checkpoints.
> 
[snip]

> 5. Effect of normative references:
> 
> Are we sure that there is nothing in the Normative References
> that can burn any implementor of UAAG10?

How would we know if we were sure? We require WCAG (for
documentation), DOM, and RFC2046 (for the definition of
text formats). I don't know how deep (recursively) we need
to look to feel reassured.

 _ Ian

-- 
Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Sunday, 11 March 2001 04:35:18 UTC

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