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Re: Umbrella Specifications Discussion

From: Dominique HazaŽl-Massieux <dom@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2005 15:34:18 +0200
To: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Cc: "'www-qa-wg@w3.org'" <www-qa-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1118842459.15789.78.camel@stratustier>
Le mardi 14 juin 2005 ŗ 13:54 -0400, Karl Dubost a ťcrit :
> During our previous discussion, Tim Boland asked if a Profile was an  
> Umbrella Specification.  I don't think it is, Dom think it could be a  
> kind of. The differences of opinions might come because we don't know  
> how to decide what makes an umbrella specification.
> 
> To clarify my ideas about it, I would maybe define an umbrella  
> specification as a document which covers a complete Web technology:
>      - by introducing the technology (Primer)
>      - by enumerating the sibling documents and their interactions
>      - by defining the different kind of conformance requirements
> 
> It's the entrance gate to a technology.  (personal opinion on it).

I guess the question remains to me "what is it that we want to say about
this concept that deserves a name and a definition?". In other words, I
have no problem calling what you describe above an umbrella
specification, but what do you think are special about these? What is
going to be the core of the discussion about it?

As a reminder, we introduced this concept back in Reading; here are the
relevant bits of the minutes:
"""
[KD issue - Principle A1.1 - Include a Conformance Clause]

[KD] A technology can be defined by multiple docs/specs at different 
levels of maturity.
How can we define a Conformance Clause that applies to the whole set? 
(Eg, CSS3.)

[PC] In the Java world we create an "umbrella specification" (meta 
specifiction) that
covers all.
[MS] This is a more generic problem.
[LR] Every document must contain the clause or point to it.
[KD] RDF has multiple docs, but they are at least moved forward together
[PC] If there are multiple docs/specs, there must be a high-level document
that pulls them all together.
[LR/PC] What about "component" specs that are referenced/included in 
multiple other specs, such
as XPath or Xinclude?
[PC] They must define conformance requirements that will be used 
by/incorporated into the
higher-level specs.
[MS] This discussion should be "higher level" (not buried in a single 
guideline)
[all] Where could we put such a discussion?
[PC] Suggests adding a Concepts or Terminology section
[MS] Beware trying to set W3C policy as a whole
[PC] We can make some recommendations: if you're creating a spec 
designed to be
incorporated into other specs, define your conformance clause 
accordingly, and if you're
creating a family of specs, create a higher-level 'umbrella spec' that 
defines the
relationship between the various components, and what it means to 
conform to the
collection as a whole
[AT] Remember that users/implementors will ultimately choose what pieces 
or components
they want to conform to.
[PC] WSI is an example of a "collective" or "integration" spec.
[PC] There are three models: standalone spec, spec intended to be part 
of a "family",
and spec intended to be incorporated into another spec.
[DH] A specification by definition includes normative content?

[agreement] Add a concepts section in the Introduction, addressing these 
issues.
"""
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-qa-wg/2004Oct/0097

The main point that was made in this discussion was regarding different
degrees of advancement inside a family of technologies; but I don't
think there is any difference between that situation and a spec
depending on another specification with a separate degree of advancement
in general.

Dom
-- 
Dominique HazaŽl-Massieux - http://www.w3.org/People/Dom/
W3C/ERCIM
mailto:dom@w3.org


Received on Wednesday, 15 June 2005 13:34:23 GMT

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