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Re: profiles or not [was Re: Modules and levels in a specification]

From: Andrew Thackrah <andrew@opengroup.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2002 14:16:50 +0100
To: www-qa-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <20020807141650.A2687@hyperion>

On 2002.08.07 13:52 Lofton Henderson wrote:
> Two comments:
> 1.) it is pretty explicit in the QA Activity statement, the QAWG 
> Charter, and QA Framework Introduction that W3C thinks (collectively at 
> least) that the WGs are responsible for the success of their standard in 
> the field, not just for inventing superior technologies.
> 2.) I don't believe that publishing a technical spec and leaving the 
> interoperability (between producers and consumers) to the marketplace 
> works (at least not reliably).  I've had direct contrary experience, in 
> which we had to go back after several years, add a "Rules for Profiles", 
> define a couple of target profiles, and try to deal with a half-decade 
> of ugly legacy content and implementations.

  I agree the interop is best *not* left to the market. But it doesn't 
  therefore that it should be handled by spec authors either. So who?
  I have in mind a special interest group dedicated to conformance and
  interop for a particular technology. There are lots of these groups 
around in
  the wider world.
  In the case of W3C you mention the charter - so we can see that for
  our specs such a group would be active within a WG. I'd also go so far
  as to say that any conformance/interop units in a WG would be members
  of the QA(IG)and/or steered by it's work.

> You seem to have done a lot of work with HTTP.  Does HTTP represent a 
> counter-example where it -- letting industry sort interoperability out 
> after the publication -- has worked well?

  The HTTP example was to illustate the use of version numbers in product
  conformance claims. I think that the similarity (I know, not 
equivalence) between
  versions and levels may be a recipe for confusion at product development 
level. Are version
numbers another dimension of variability? And if not, will procurers/users 
think so anyway?
  (people are very attached to identifying products by either version 
numbers or brands)

Received on Wednesday, 7 August 2002 09:17:56 UTC

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