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Abstact and SoTD

From: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2002 10:40:56 -0600
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.2.20020815102317.03ce0730@rockynet.com>
To: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Cc: www-qa-wg@w3.org

Karl,

This is the Abstract and SoTD that I propose for publication 
permission.  It is the same as endorsed by the QAWG in teleconference, 
except that the bits of SoTD text have been finished, about the feedback 
that we want from reviewers.

Abstract
--------

The principal goal of this document is to help W3C Working Groups in 
writing clearer, more implementatable, and better 
testable          technical reports. It both provides a common framework 
for specifying conformance requirements and definitions, and 
also          addresses the representation of specifications (technical 
reports) as schemata, both of which facilitate the generation of 
test          materials. The material is presented as a set of organizing 
guidelines and verifiable checkpoints. This document is one in a 
family          of Framework documents of the Quality Assurance (QA) 
Activity, which includes the other existing or in-progress 
specifications:          Introduction; Operational Guidelines; and, Test 
Guidelines.

Status of this document
--------

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its 
publication. Other documents may supersede this document. The latest status 
of this document series is maintained at the W3C.

This document is a W3C Working Draft (WD), made available by the W3C 
Quality Assurance (QA) Activity for discussion by W3C members and other 
interested parties. For more information about the QA Activity, please see 
the QA Activity statement.

This version is the second published WD, and supersedes all previous 
WG-only drafts as well as the first published WD. It is expected that 
updated WD versions of this document will be produced regularly, along with 
other members of the Framework documents family. Future progression of this 
document beyond Working Draft is possible, but has not yet been determined.

This is a major reordering and revision of the first published WD version, 
2002-05-15. The reordering and revision was done according to the email 
proposal -- which was discussed and endorsed at the Montreal face-to-face 
-- in response to issues raised on the discussion list about the first 
published WD. Note that significant comments about old Guideline (GL) 12 
(now GL14 and GL15) -- Theme 2, specification anatomy -- have not been 
addressed in this version. It is anticipated that this is a next major 
undertaking of the QAWG.

Rather, this version has focused on a complete reorganization and 
restructuring of the guidelines (GL) of Theme 1, Conformance Content. Old 
GL1 - GL11 are restructured into 13 new guidelines, organized around a 
central concept of specification "dimensions of variability" (DoV). The 
QAWG has done this with the specific goal of presenting it to the W3C, to 
solicit feedback on:

            1.is this a useful organization that QAWG should pursue, 
develop, and refine?
            2.are there dimensions that we can eliminate, or major 
dimensions that we have missed (and that can't be fit into an existing
               dimension)?
            3.can we start to make and integrate judgements about goodness 
and badness within particular dimensions or combinations of
               dimensions?

About #3, in this version the QAWG has included checkpoints that require 
explanation and justification of the use of DoVs within a specification, 
and has warned of the dangers of excessive variability, but has generally 
avoided specific value judgements.

In addition to feedback about the overall direction and organization, there 
are specific issues about which the QAWG desires feedback. The most 
persistent issues involve the relationships amongst the ways of dividing or 
grouping the technology -- profiles, modules, levels -- and whether there 
are relationships that are better (should be encouraged) and ones that are 
worse (should be discouraged). Some specific issues are flagged in the 
text, and may also be found in the QAWG Issues List.

Finally, this WD comes with these disclaimers. Work is still needed on the 
structuring of text within checkpoints, and in particular clarifying 
exactly what are the requirements (test assertions) within the checkpoints; 
and, the new "Definitions" chapter is still under construction, and is 
missing terms which ought to be and eventually will be in it.

A future version of this document will be accompanied by a "Specification 
Examples & Techniques" document, which will illustrate the guidelines and 
checkpoints with case studies, and explain how to satisfy the checkpoints.

There are no known patent or IPR constraints associated with this Working 
Draft of QA Framework: Specification Guidelines. The QA Working Group 
Patent Disclosure page contains details, in conformance with W3C policy 
requirements.

Please send comments to www-qa@w3.org, the publicly archived list of the QA 
Interest Group [QAIG]. Please note that any mail sent to this list will be 
publicly archived and available. Do not send information you wouldn't want 
to see distributed, such as private data.

Publication of this document does not imply endorsement by the W3C, its 
membership or its staff. This is a draft document and may be updated, 
replaced, or made obsolete by other documents at any time. It is 
inappropriate to use W3C Working Drafts as
reference material or to cite them as other than "work in progress".

A list of current W3C Recommendations and other technical documents can be 
found at http://www.w3.org/TR.
### end of SoTD ###

Regards,
-Lofton.
Received on Thursday, 15 August 2002 12:40:47 GMT

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