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Re: Modules and levels in a specification

From: David Marston/Cambridge/IBM <david_marston@us.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2002 14:08:52 -0400
To: www-qa-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFA0B39466.C81B418A-ON85256C0D.0060B326@lotus.com>

> are issues raised by Andrew Thackrah:

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

Yes. Everything you see in SpecGL assumes that the variability
techniques can be applied to one edition of the spec. "Conformance"
is assessed against one edition (version) of the spec, and that
edition can use levels.

You might have noticed that Lofton sent a query asking for a proven
established case where a WG planned to use levels even in the first

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

You seem to be arguing that (1) Class of Product, Profile, and Module
constitute too many degrees of freedom, and (2) WGs shouldn't write
product specs. I think the best way to deal with (1) is to publish the
Working Draft with Guidelines 2,3, and 4, hoping to get broader-based
feedback about this issue. I think that in the real world, WGs deal
with (2) by minimizing the intrusion into the product area, but they
must recognize product categorization enough to make their work serve
a useful purpose. For example, a spec that includes a capability for
input from the end user may need to recognize different types of
input devices: mouse, 12-key keypad, full-alphanumeric keypad, etc.
This could be viewed as empowering rather than constraining product
development, because the developer can consider the trade-offs of
various input devices.

More generally, the Class of Product (GL 2) is an "early" step in the
progression of guidelines because a WG typically designs one piece of
the grand scheme, and they *want* to recognize existing technology as a
.................David Marston
Received on Tuesday, 6 August 2002 14:09:42 UTC

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