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[Draft-SpecGL] Umbrella specifications

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2005 11:52:59 -0400
Message-Id: <9ae52c39fc1676f18292f5382fb771c1@w3.org>
To: 'www-qa-wg@w3.org' <www-qa-wg@w3.org>

First stab at it. Can be completely modified and fixed.

4.2. Umbrella specifications

A specification is a document that prescribes technical requirements to 
be fulfilled by a product, process or service.

In the last ten years, the technologies developed at W3C have evolved a 
lot. W3C Working Groups have moved from monolithic specifications to 
set of specifications to define the requirements of a technology. Often 
this move was necessary to ease the editing process or/and to handle 
effectively the functional division of the technology.

A monolithic specification is a document which contains everything that 
is necessary to implement the technology. A set of specifications is a 
set of documents which define one or a few requirements of the 
technology. There are most of the time strong dependencies between the 

The W3C Process document provides a framework for editors to help them 
to publish their document and to enforce some quality practices (for 
example, implementation phase during CR). Though it doesn't define per 
se the notion of technology that would be covered by a coherent set of 

Defined in one or several documents, specifications can import 
requirements of other specifications with normative references. Some 
specifications, denoted below as umbrella specifications, create their 
own interfaces by simply grouping requirements of existing 
specifications in a well-defined manner.

Figure 1: Umbrella specification

	[Here the figure]

On this figure, the technology is composed of two modules (defining 
functional division of the technology), a profile (defining the 
requirement of implementation for a specific device) and a primer 
(introducing the technology and its basic concepts). An "umbrella 
specification" document groups them together making it a logical, 
usable and complete technology.

Karl Dubost - http://www.w3.org/People/karl/
W3C Conformance Manager
*** Be Strict To Be Cool ***
Received on Wednesday, 27 April 2005 15:53:03 UTC

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