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Idea for participation in WWW2004 (longish)

From: <david_marston@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2003 15:10:11 -0400
To: www-qa-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFAD13831E.9825925C-ON85256DB7.0064BD20@lotus.com>

I noted the Call for Participation for WWW2004 [1] and looked for ways
that I or QAWG could participate, aiming to broaden the buy-in for the
Guidelines documents and other activities to come. Given the rapid pace
of the QA work, I think a panel is a good idea. See [2] for more details
about what they want for panels. The proposed panel is a supplement to
whatever the W3C Team may propose to cover in their W3C Track. Below is
a first attempt to scope out the proposal. Lofton indicated that QAWG
should discuss this and accept/decline/modify at the next telecon.

The panel addresses the theme of "Performance and Reliability" but also
fits the "Web Engineering" theme. Note also that "Web Standards - de
facto vs. de jure" is a suggested panel topic. My thinking is that test
materials sanctioned by a WG broaden the reliability of the *specs*
issued by the WG and allow Web practitioners to get a stronger sense of
reliability in using newer specs. Ideally, one of the panel members
would represent a technology whose WG has been especially good at buying
into the QAWG guidelines. A secondary theme is that test cases build on
use cases to give practitioners a reliable, possibly even adaptable, set
of known-working practices.

The request in [2] for controversies can be satisfied by the de facto vs.
de jure theme applied to all the standards of "goodness" that various
people want to impose (de jure) through QAWG guidelines. i.e., Is the Web
getting better fast enough? Do SHOULD statements in the spec have enough
moral authority?

Now I'll address their design points for a panel....
Intended audience: implementers and users of Web standards, especially
those who rely on conformance and interoperability.

Detailed topic: discussing how the W3C (through WGs) will present a more
integrated view of its requirements in the future, by providing tests in
addition to specs. This is hard to do with volunteer/contributed efforts
in the WGs.

Take-home message: WGs are being pressured to expand their work to a new
plateau of testable specs integrated with tests. These tests are not just
for implementers to debate fine points. Interop will be served.

Panel: mix of points of view among a purist/idealist, pragmatist, victim
of poor past practices, implementer of a W3C spec, possibly a spec editor,
possibly a trainer/author. (Other ideas?) Moderator is a QA professional.

Advance coordination: collect up lessons learned the hard way. Get some
good and bad examples involving W3C specs.

Assurance of liveliness: any discussion of standards vs. proprietary
approaches is a good stimulus. Some companies want to support standards
yet use license terms to prohibit reporting of test results. How is Web
interop faring in 2003?

BTW, I have experience in pushing panels to talk to each other, not just
separately in the same room. That seems to be very important to the Panels
Committee.
.................David Marston
[1]http://www2004.org/
[2]http://www2004.org/cfp/panels.html
Received on Monday, 6 October 2003 15:11:08 GMT

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