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[Spec GL Draft] A.1 GP: Specify in the conformance clause how to distinguish normative from informative content.

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2004 14:43:03 -0400
Message-Id: <1E0D4E62-E646-11D8-91B3-000A95718F82@w3.org>
To: www-qa-wg@w3.org
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Good practice: Specify in the conformance clause how to distinguish 
normative from informative content.

What does this mean:
	Normative content is the prescriptive part of the specification, 
whereas informative content is for informational purposes and assists 
in the understanding and use of the specification. Content includes all 
sorts of different forms -- not only descriptive prose, but 
illustrations, examples, use cases, formulae and other formalisms.

Why care?
	Conformance of implementations is defined by and measured against 
normative content. It will remove any reading and understanding 
ambiguities for the different parts of the specification. This Good 
Practice is aimed principally at the high level partitioning of 
information in the specification. The next, related Good Practice 
considers the use of language at a fine-grained level @@link@@

Related:

Techniques:
	1. For each section of your specification defines if the content is 
normative or informative.
	2. Once identified, label the section with a wording saying explicitly 
the normative or informative status of the section.
	3. In the conformance clause, explained what the wording means and how 
does it relate to conformance.
	4. Bonus: (Try to avoid a language which sounds normative in an 
informative section. It might lead the specification users to wrong 
assumptions.)

Examples:

	@@to find@@


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

Received on Wednesday, 4 August 2004 17:43:31 GMT

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