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Re: Issue 1041: ICS Good Practices: 1.2 A, B., C

From: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 08:33:20 -0700
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.2.20050317080918.02290d48@localhost>
To: "Lynne S. Rosenthal" <lynne.rosenthal@nist.gov>, "'www-qa-wg@w3.org'" <www-qa-wg@w3.org>
At 10:47 AM 3/16/2005 -0500, Lynne S. Rosenthal wrote:
>[...]
>An Implementation Conformance Statement (ICS) provides information about 
>an implementation to a specification, by presenting in a uniform manner 
>the capabilities (e.g., functions, features) and options that have been 
>implemented as well as limitations of the implementation. An ICS pro-forma 
>typically takes the form of a questionnaire or checklist, to be completed 
>for an implementation.

Okay so far.

>It provides the implementer a way to indicate what has been implemented. 
>Think of it as an inventory of what has been implemented.  Note, that a 
>completed ICS does not indicate conformance of the implementation.  Hence, 
>answering yes to indicate a capability is supported does not mean that the 
>capability has been tested and correctly implemented (i.e., conforms).

I don't like the last sentence.  It seems to imply that an implementer 
should or could check "yes", something is implemented, even if they *know* 
that it is not correctly implemented.  That seems absurd.  The ICS becomes 
a vehicle for deceit.  (Such real-world abuses we actually seen at the 
height of the CALS era -- checklists of implemented CALS stuff that was 
known to be wrong.)

Though I disagreed with it, I will live with the Boston decree that ICS 
shall not contain any proof or substantiation of the claims, but it seems 
to me absurd that someone, in an Implementation CONFORMANCE Statement, 
should check "yes" to a feature that they know to be non-conforming or 
incorrect.

In other words, the ICS "yes" should mean that the feature is implemented 
and is claimed to conform (but without any proof or substantiation of that 
claim).

I would replace the last 4 sentences (above) with something like:

>It provides the implementer a way to indicate what has been implemented. 
>Think of it as a template [ed.  recall that the context is "ICS 
>pro-forma"] for making detailed feature-by-feature conformance claims.

You could add, "Whether or not the features do in fact conform as claimed 
is verified only by conformance testing, which is beyond the scope of the 
ICS."  That leads into the next stuff, which indicates that completed ICS 
can be an input to a conformance testing process.

-Lofton.
Received on Thursday, 17 March 2005 15:33:36 GMT

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