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Re: Modules and levels in a specification

From: Andrew Thackrah <andrew@opengroup.org>
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2002 11:52:03 -0400
Message-Id: <a05111b52b975a10779a2@[24.201.26.36]>
To: www-qa-wg@w3.org




  re SpecGL modules/levels/profiles

  I'm not clear on the difference between a level and a spec version - are
  they different?

  Also I currently regard profiles to be a form of product categorization
  rather than an aid to technical specification.

  For example when I see products claiming conformance to a technology it
  is either with reference to a particular specification (e.g. 
'conforms to HTTP 1.1')
  or to a product  brand (e.g. 'UNIX') which is a collection of 
conformance requirements
based on a number of lower level specs.

  In the first case, HTTP 1.1 we have a named spec and a quoted version. The
  version is very important here. If HTTP had been designed post-specGL would
  we be saying 'conforms to HTTP level 3' instead?

  In the second case, if a profile is used to group modules under a 
name - is this
not a form of product classification? I am wondering why a technical 
specification
author should be concerned with issues of product development such as
profiling. Perhaps the division of a specification by module is 
sufficient for a
technical description. Any structuring or aggregation of modules and 
discretionary
elements can be performed as needed by product vendors and in conformance
programs.

We discussed last week if there were any examples of specs that started life
with a clear product development plan (using levels) and had trouble 
thinking of
many. This may be because authors of technical specs are more concerned
with capturing the functionality than speculating on future developments. There
may be good arguments for spec authors to think ahead to the further 
development
of their technology but can this not be addressed by versioning?

Also is there not a danger that product classification (if that what 
profiles are) is treading
on the toes of vendors and maybe even inhibiting creativity in the 
area of product
devlopment?


  -Andrew
Received on Tuesday, 6 August 2002 11:52:08 GMT

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