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Re: SpecGL: rewrite of Strict Conformance

From: Lynne Rosenthal <lynne.rosenthal@nist.gov>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 19:01:12 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
Cc: www-qa-wg@w3.org

I have no problem removing the sentence related to "No discretion is 
granted to implementer...".  In fact, I would like to remove it and agree 
with Lofton's recollection of the Seattle meeting.


At 04:59 PM 1/16/2003 -0700, Lofton Henderson wrote:
>Before I look at the details of the subsequent comments of Mark and David, 
>I have one suggestion (see end)...
>At 03:11 PM 1/16/03 -0500, you wrote:
>>Below completes my action item to review Guideline 3 and 9 with respect 
>>to Strict Conformance and to proposed modifications.
>>For Guideline 3. Specify conformance policy
>>1.  Modify 1st paragraph, (changes start with the second sentence)
>>A look at various W3C Technical reports shows that the term "conformance" 
>>is often qualified, resulting in more than one type of conformance.  It 
>>is important to convey an understanding of what is meant by conformance 
>>and how it applies to each class of product as well as each dimension of 
>>variability (e.g., modules) if applicable. For example, if the 
>>specification defines behavior for more than one class of product, there 
>>may be a separate conformance policy for each class.  Similarly, if the 
>>specification defines modules, there may be a different conformance 
>>policy for each module.
>>2.  Delete the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th paragraphs.
>>3. The 5th paragraph  the definition of Strict conformance is moved to 
>>Guideline 9 (see below).
>>4. Leave the last 2 paragraphs (6 and 7) as is.
>>5.  Remove Checkpoint 3.2.  It is subsumed by ckpt 9.1.
>>6.  Checkpoint 3.3 should be removed
>>7. Ckpt 3.1  (I wasn't sure what is meant here, but with Mark's help, I 
>>thought that this was it)
>>Propose alternative wording for the fulfill criteria of Ckpt 3.1
>>To fulfill this checkpoint, a specification MUST include a normative 
>>section enumerating the minimal requirements that apply across all 
>>products of a class.
>>Rationale: the reader must be able to recognize any minimum 
>>functionality, complexity or support that applies to all conforming 
>>products of a specific class.
>>For Guideline 9. Extensions or NOT.
>>8.  Insert the following as the 3rd paragraph in Guideline 9
>>Disallowing extensions for any part of the specification is called strict 
>>conformance.  [te paragraph from G3]  Strict conformance is defined as 
>>conformance of an implementation that employs only the requirements 
>>and/or functionality defined in the specification and no more (e.g., no 
>>extensions to the specification are implemented).  No discretion is 
>>granted to implementers, and any requirements for handling deprecated 
>>features must be followed.
>"No discretion is granted to implementers," is a bad choice of words.  As 
>I recall from Seattle (Tues PM), strict conformance applies only to 
>functional extensions.  I thought that we discussed, and decided, that 
>discretionary items are allowed under strict conformance.  In which case, 
>indeed there is discretion granted to implementers.  Some of us thought 
>the term "strict conformance" was misleading, if it in fact allows several 
>bits of variability like discretion, extended capability of standard 
>functions, etc.  However, I (at least) accepted that this was a legacy 
>definition (from NIST?), and withdrew my objections.
>Unfortunately, this "discretion" detail is not documented in the draft 
>minutes.  However, from the following excerpt from later in this thread, 
>it sounds like Mark remembers the same.
>>At 04:21 PM 1/16/2003 -0500, David Marston/Cambridge/IBM wrote:
>>The major dilemma we had was as follows:
>>A product could vary along some Dimensions of Variability, notably
>>discretionary choices, but not implement any extensions. Is this
>>"strict conformance"?
>>[Mark's reply...] This is still "strict conformance." The term 
>>"conformance" has to do with implementing features exactly as allowed in 
>>the spec/rec. Thus, implementing the DOVs not having to do with 
>>extensions does not violate "strict conformance." I think our original 
>>definition of "strict conformance" bears this out.
>If all of this is an accurate remembrance (and if we do not further modify 
>this issue resolution), then ""No discretion is granted to implementers," 
>ought to be changed, as it is pretty misleading.
>(I may have more substantive comments, later, after I have digested the 
>MS/DM dialog.)
Received on Thursday, 16 January 2003 19:02:17 UTC

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