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Question on Developing Test Assertions

From: Mark Skall <mark.skall@nist.gov>
Date: Tue, 03 Feb 2004 12:42:36 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: www-qa-wg@w3.org

Now that we've finished going through the test assertions I generated for 
SpecGL, it seems there is still one unanswered question: How are we going 
to develop test assertions (and modify the existing SpecGL assertions) in 
the future?

There are at least 2 possible scenarios:

1) Develop the test assertions the same way I developed the SpecGL ones 
(i.e., use the conformance requirements PLUS additional info from 
Rationale, Discussion, Examples, etc.)  I used this additional info because 
I felt more info was needed to fully define (and test) the conformance 

2) Use ONLY the conformance requirements - no more no less - to generate 
the assertions.  In my mind, this is the ideal, and preferred, 
approach.  The conformance requirements section SHOULD (MUST?) be complete 
and self-contained.  Using any additional info really means we're adding 
non-normative requirements to the test assertions.  However, in order to 
use this approach, the conformance requirements have to be scrutinized to 
ensure completeness.

Perhaps, there is a 2-tiered approach:  Use the additional info (scenario 
1) the first time the assertions are generated.  The main intent would be 
to flush out problems/inconsistencies in the guideline.  Then use ONLY the 
conformance requirements (scenario 2) to re-do the assertions for the final 

Any thoughts?


Mark Skall
Chief, Software Diagnostics and Conformance Testing Division
Information Technology Laboratory
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8970
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8970

Voice: 301-975-3262
Fax:   301-590-9174
Email: skall@nist.gov
Received on Tuesday, 3 February 2004 12:43:25 UTC

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