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Conversation with Paul Grosso

From: Mark W. Skall <mark.skall@nist.gov>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2005 11:48:04 -0400
Message-ID: <60DE4C815920CA41AF6CC5CFDA9CC849010F160B@WSXG03.campus.nist.gov>
To: <www-qa-wg@w3.org>
I had a very good conversation with Paul and I think we came to an
understanding.

 

I first explained to Paul the history of having different conformance
sections for different entities that pertain to the same standard.  I
went all the way back to programming language standards of the 70s and
80s that talked about implementation conformance and programmer
conformance and the need to distinguish between the two types of
conformance.  As further examples, I explained the need to distinguish
among entities like producers of content, producers of tools that
develop content (generators, authoring tools), and producers of tools
that do something with the content (interpreters, user agents) with
respect to how they conform.

 

Paul was onboard with the concept and the need to identify classes of
products and describe how they conform.   The problem stemmed from Paul
not be able to visualize how the COP concept applied to XML, since its
applicability was so broad.  I think the breakthrough occurred when I
asked him to think about writing the XML conformance clause.  I
explained that in writing conformance requirements the writer is
implicitly identifying who the conformance requirements are written for.
Whoever is implicitly being thought about is the class of product.  Paul
seemed to resonate with that approach.  He also had thought that a class
of product needed to be a commercial product (the name class of product
may be misleading).  When I explained that a COP could be a document
(and that in fact the COP for SpecGL was indeed a document) that seemed
to ease his mind.

 

Hopefully, after this conversation his misgivings/objections about COP
were eliminated.

 

Mark

 

 

 

****************************************************************
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
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Received on Thursday, 16 June 2005 15:48:08 GMT

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