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[SpecGL Draft] A.1 Principle: Include a conformance clause

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2004 15:40:56 -0400
Message-Id: <097FAB3D-E585-11D8-91B3-000A95718F82@w3.org>
To: www-qa-wg@w3.org
A.1 Conformance clause is ďparamountĒ

With a good conformance clause, a specification comes close to full 
conformance to this Specification Guidelines.

	"""KD: I would like to know what was the meaning
	of paramount in this context, and I think
	we would like to change it because I don't see
	how to translate the concepts in other languages.
	It might be difficult to understand. Any suggestions?"""



	"""KD: Moved this section out of the principle to put it
	here as an intro."""

The conformance section of a specification -- commonly called the 
Conformance Clause -- is a high-level description of what is required 
of implementers and application developers. It, in turn, may refer to 
other parts of the specification for some details. Ideally, it is the 
root source from which readers can find any conformance-related 
information.

For some specifications, the conformance landscape may be plain and 
simple, and the conformance clause template may be almost all that is 
needed [Example?]. For others, the conformance landscape will be 
complex or convoluted, and the advanced details and topics of these 
specification guidelines -- topics like multiple intersecting 
Dimensions of Variability -- may be invaluable.

Principle:
	Include a conformance clause.

What does it mean?
	For starters, the conformance clause needs to answer the all-important 
question: what may conform and how? It may, for conformance purposes, 
partition the technology into functional subsets, such as profiles, 
levels, or other structures. Additionally it may specify the 
permissibility of extensions, options, and alternative approaches and 
how they are to be handled.

Why care?
	A well done conformance clause brings most of the benefit of these 
specification guidelines for the least effort. Almost all of SpecGL's 
significant advice -- normative Principles and recommended Good 
Practices alike -- are satisfied with a good conformance clause.

Technique
	1. Simple, complete the conformance clause template and put the result 
into the specification.

	"""KD: Do we have a conformance template?"""

To be honest, answering the questions in the conformance clause 
template may not be a simple matter, and may lead the Working Group 
into thorny issues. However, these are questions that must be answered 
if the specification is to be successful, i.e., if it is to foster 
multiple high quality interoperating implementations.
	2. Create a item in the table of content for your conformance section.
	3. If your technology is made of multiple individual recommendations, 
create a table of content item for Conformance, and explain that the 
Conformance section is in another document.

Examples

	* Ruby
	* SVG


-- 
Karl Dubost - http://www.w3.org/People/karl/
W3C Conformance Manager
*** Be Strict To Be Cool ***

Received on Tuesday, 3 August 2004 15:41:35 GMT

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