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Re: Negative statements about DoV vs. old specs

From: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 16:33:50 -0600
Message-Id: <>
To: David Marston/Cambridge/IBM <david_marston@us.ibm.com>
Cc: www-qa-wg@w3.org

Thanks Dave.

I'm implementing your suggestions for today's editor draft.  It will be one 
of a couple of things that we ought to look at Wednesday.

A couple more comments in-line...

At 05:22 PM 8/19/02 -0400, you wrote:

>Here is a first attempt at a tactic to allow old specs to achieve
>First Degree Conformance to SpecGL, yet encourage new documents to be
>explicit in enumerating what Dimensions of Variability (DoV) they
>DON'T use, just as they describe the ones they use.
>First of all, we leave GL 10.3 alone, and it has Priority 1.

To be clear:  you are recommending to change it to P1, right?  (Currently 
it is P2 and I didn't see any change order in last week's minutes.)

>For old
>specs, this means that they satisfy it if you can look up "Conformance"
>in the table of contents, and leads you to verbiage that suffices to
>enable you to scope out a test suite. For new specs, we interpret
>"find all aspects of the conformance requirements, including the overall
>policy" to mean that the document uses SpecGL verbiage to describe its
>policy. (The overall policy is set according to GL 5.)

Question.  Are you recommending some old-new "how to satisfy" text here in 
SpecGL, or in Extech?

>Next, we add a new checkpoint with a time discontinuity:
>10.5 For all working drafts issued after this document becomes final,
>the conformance clause must enumerate all dimensions of variability that
>are not used. [Priority 1]
>It should be possible for the reader to determine, from the conformance
>clause, whether: there is only one class of product specified, there are
>no profiles, there is no division of the spec into modules, there are no
>deprecated features, there are no levels, there are no areas where an
>implementer is granted discretion, or extensions are not allowed. This
>requirement applies separately to each dimension. For each dimension
>where variability is permitted, see the checkpoint about making an
>explicit staement under each guideline 2-9. Older documents (drafts and
>Recommendations issued before this document is final) are exempt from
>the requirement to make explicit statements of non-use of dimensions,
>but the various checkpoints still apply for dimensions that are used.

I'll integrate this into today's draft.  (I have qualms about introducing 
the time-based exemption, but as long as we restrict it to things like 
negative disclaimers, that should limit potential spreading of it.)

>Guidelines 5 and 9 require a little bit of special treatment. For the
>rest of the DoV, the statements in Checkpoints 3.1, 4.1, and 7.1 to
>the effect of "explicitly state that ____ are not supported" are
>replaced by "state that ____ are not supported according to the
>requirements of Checkpoint 10.5."

There is an interesting subtlety here.  Is 3.1 "not applicable" if profiles 
are not supported?  Or is it a dependent checkpoint -- "yes" if 10.5 is 
"yes".  (But ... 10.5 deals with 8 things, profiles plus 7 others.)

I tend to think...  "Ckpt not applicable if ____ not supported, but see 
related CK10.5 for disclaimer requirements."  This way, you can check one 
of three boxes Y/N/NA and move on.


>One could also consider 9.1 and 5.2
>for this treatment, but I think the history and precedents of
>extensibility are better established, and that we can leave the
>requirements as-is, especially considering that 9.1 is only a Priority
>3. Checkpoint 2.2 needs another sentence: "If the specification applies
>to just one class of product, state that fact per the requirements of
>Checkpoint 10.5." Checkpoint 6.1 needs another sentence: "If there are
>no deprecated features, make an explicit statement according to the
>requirements of Checkpoint 10.5." Checkpoint 8.1 should get a new
>one-sentence paragraph: "If there are no discretionary areas in the
>specification, state that fact per the requirements of Checkpoint
>The net effect is that all specs, old and new, must satisfy 10.3 in an
>appropriate level of formality. All specs, old and new, must satisfy
>9.1, but only at Priority 3. All specs must satisfy the Priority 1
>checkpoints under Guideline 5, but 10.3 will guide the expectations for
>explicit statements and formality of verbiage. Other dimensions of
>variability, being made explicit by SpecGL for the first time, will be
>applied through the filter of 10.5 when not used and through their own
>checkpoints when used. As with so many other aspects of this Working
>Draft, this will allow comments to come in regarding the whole DoV
>scheme, with details of interlocks to be smoothed out later.
>.................David Marston
Received on Monday, 19 August 2002 18:33:34 UTC

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