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Re: new version of SpecLite - Extensions

From: Mark Skall <mark.skall@nist.gov>
Date: Tue, 04 May 2004 12:10:04 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: david_marston@us.ibm.com, www-qa-wg@w3.org

>Having said that, I should comment on The Skallian Hypothesis

Sounds like a very elegant name for an 18th century scientific theory (or 
perhaps just the name of a Robert Ludlum book)

>: "Extensions are adding new features beyond what is defined in the 
>specification, but not using any provided hooks or other mechanisms in the 

The Skallian hypothesis would simply say "Extensions are new features 
beyond what is defined in the specification", not the rest of it.  The 
hooks part is logically deduced by the definition.  The hooks (at least the 
way I think of them, as GDPs and Escapes) are features specifically 
designed to allow additional functionality to be added.  These features 
already exist in the standard.  Using them would not be an extension.  The 
"hooks" are only one example.  The point is that if you design for 
extensibility, by including ways to do that, it's not an extension if you 
use the pre-defined ways (features).  However, if an implementation 
provides the same functionality by adding an additional feature, that's an 

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, 4 May 2004 12:11:52 UTC

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