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

From: <david_marston@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 11:03:13 -0400
To: www-qa-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFAEF6F398.E4C0CC6A-ON85256EF5.004FC2F1@lotus.com>

There is a dialog underway that started with this:

>>>Technique
>>>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.

Karl and I agree that every Recommendation would benefit from the TOC
entry pointing to conformance. I think that when a document is separate
from another with which it was originally thought to be associated, it
takes on a life of its own. Schema Part 2 [1] is a classic example.
Although it was written to be part of Schema, it has become the W3C's
official list of datatypes. Thus, its Conformance implications do not
simply pass upward to Schema Part 1 any more. It has its own chapter on
Conformance, but that chapter unfortunately does not anticipate other
Recs citing it normatively, which is now the case for F&O. [2]

In a situation like that, the "lower" document it (Schema Part 2 in this
case) can't get by with a one-sentence deferral of its conformance rules
to a particular "upper" document (Schema Part 1 or F&O). A document that
is 100% informative might get by with one sentence, though interestingly,
Schema Part 0 doesn't. [3]

Based on Karl's feedback, I think that the techniques about how one Rec
sets conformance expectations for an embracing technology in another Rec
is indeed about the content rather than about whether to have a Section
or just a TOC entry. All those points should be somewhere in SpecGL. The
last remaining issue about the above Technique 3 is that it is written
as if the separate document will not take on a life of its own.

How about this?
3. Each Recommendation addresses conformance. Those that don't specify
behavior of a Class of Product may simply say that they are informative,
but beware: even defining terms or stating principles can be normative
if some other document could cite the terms or principles normatively.
If your WG issues several Recommendations and some refer normatively to
others in the set, try to isolate a Class of Product in each Rec and
anticipate that other Recs may cite any individual Rec normatively.
(Example: Schema Part 2 was originally developed as the document on data
types for XML Schema, but it is now cited normatively to specify the
data types for XPath 2.0 and XQuery.)
.................David Marston

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/REC-xmlschema-2-20010502/
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-xpath-functions-20040723/#constructor-functions-for-xsd-types
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/REC-xmlschema-0-20010502/#conformance
Received on Thursday, 19 August 2004 15:03:45 GMT

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