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Re: [www-qa-wg] <none> -- clarification

From: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2002 07:11:02 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: www-qa-wg@w3.org

I realize that one thing I said yesterday is not exactly what I mean...

At 09:17 PM 12/1/2002 -0700, Lofton Henderson wrote:

>>2.1 Identify all classes of products
>>What are the classes of products?  According to the Scope, the SpecGL applies
>>to Specification. However, we go on to distinguish between existing specs and
>>new specs.  Also Conformance Clause addresses WG specifications.
>>What is the class of products?  1 class= specification or 2 classes: new
>>specs and old specs.
>>Clarification:  In the scope we define specifications to be W3C Technical
>>supports.  Do Technical Reports include Recommendations and Guidelines or
>>just Recommendations?
>My interpretation.  Scope includes and is limited to new Technical 
>Reports.  The reference to "WG specifications" in the Conformance section 
>is carelessness (we fail the "consistent terminology" CP!).  From a W3C 
>Process perspective, there is nothing called "Guidelines".  In WAI, the 
>guidelines documents are Recommendations (or on the way to being Recs).
>There is one class:  new TRs.  The talk about old specifications is 
>informative discussion.  Or more precisely, "old TRs are out of scope", 
>although it may be useful to look at them from the perspective of SpecGL 
>in order to understand their conformance characteristics, strengths and 
>weaknesses (e.g., to fix problems in their next edition or version).

What I actually mean (and believe)...

When I said "old TRs" are out of scope, I was alluding to the "...not 
expected that existing specs..." language in the Introduction.  There, I 
believe we should be referring to already-published documents.  The 
"existing specs" language in the current SpecGL text comes from the issue 
(#77, [1]) that we discussed and resolved about whether we, when writing 
the checkpoints, should try to write them in such a way that 
already-published specs (legacy documents) might pass.

We answered "no".  We write the SpecGL checkpoints in anticipation that 
they will be applied, and conformance achieved, during the writing of 
specification (TR) drafts.  Here is how I think SpecGL applies to different 
stages of Technical Reports.

1.) Finished published Recommendations (e.g., Rec XYZ 1.0, 
2001):  conformance to SpecGL should *not* be expected (obviously); SpecGL 
is still useful to apply, in order to understand the conformance 
characteristics of Rec XYZ, and in order to plan and implement 
improvements, and achieve SpecGL conformance, for Rec XYZ 2.0, 2003.

2.) Future Technical Reports:   work begins in 2003 on Xblah 1.0, 2004 
(anticipated) -- definitely should be written from the start (and required) 
to achieve at least degree A conformance.

3.) In progress Technical Reports:  If Xfoo 1.0 is currently at the stage 
of first published WD, and Last Call is anticipated for 5/2003, then the WG 
should start to apply SpecGL and Rec Xfoo 1.0 should be at least degree A 
conforming.  What is the new/old break point here?  If the TR has entered 
Candidate Recommendation, then it is too late to expect significant 
changes.  If it is an early WD, then SpecGL conformance should be 
required.  The break point is probably somewhere around Last Call.

What is messy is that we seem to be mixing scope (Technical Reports), 
intended audience (authors, TM implements, spec reviewers), use scenarios, 
and policy (when and how to specify the manditoriness rules).


P.S.  Is "Technical Reports" accurate?  An entirely informative "Note" is a 
TR.  Do we mean to qualify TR at all, such as Rec-track, or ...?

[1] http://www.w3.org/QA/WG/qawg-issues-html#x77
Received on Monday, 2 December 2002 09:15:46 UTC

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