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[SpecGL] 2.3 Normative (and non-normative) references

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2004 16:41:13 -0500
Message-Id: <BDA0D600-35BC-11D9-9345-000A95718F82@w3.org>
To: 'www-qa-wg@w3.org' <www-qa-wg@w3.org>
AI-2004102802 - Karl to write principle and good practice on normative 
references, including time considerations, super setting or sub 
setting, breaking conformance by Nov. 4.

2.3 Normative (and non-normative) references

A specification is rarely written in isolation. It inherits from 
previously defined technologies and might set the future of other 
specifications by defining their base. Then it is essential to clearly 
defines what is the nature of the specifications (normative, 
informative), the technology refers to and the implications of these 
references for the future of the technology itself.

As a side note, there is also an interest to study and understand the 
conformance model of the technology which is developed in order to 
minimize the difficulties of other specifications using it in a 
conformant way.

2.3 Principle A:  Make a list of normative references

What does it mean?
	When a specification is developed, it relies at its core on other 
technologies.  The Working Group doesn't need to define the core as it 
is already clearly defined in other specifications. The Working Group 
has then to identify any specifications which defines the core 
technologies of the developed technology.

Why care?
	For the Working Group, it has an immediate benefit: “do not reinvent 
the wheel”. Using features which are already defined in other documents 
helps to minimize the size of the document which is developed and avoid 
too many ambiguities by rewriting the same concepts.
	For the developers, it has the huge benefits of knowing which part of 
the specification is based on another technology. It makes clear what 
are the implications for the conformance. It may help them to minimize 
their work by using conformant libraries already implemented elsewhere.
	For the users, it might help them to understand where the technology 
is coming from and therefore how to use it in combination with other 
technologies they might already know.

	wiki topic on normative references
	Manual of style
	Pubrules ?
	The reference tool maker.

	1. List all technologies your specification depends on
	2. Define which version of the technologies you are using on the 
	3. Identify each reference to these technologies in the body of your 
document with a clear and unique label
	4. Make a list of all these references in a section of your document 
called Normative References.
	Bonus: Use the format developed for extracting automatically 
references from your document.

	All W3C Recommendations?


2.3 Good Practice B
	Make a list of informative references

2.3 Good Practice C
	Study all implications of your normative references choices

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

Received on Saturday, 13 November 2004 21:41:15 UTC

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