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Re: Conformance and Implementations

From: Alex Rousskov <rousskov@measurement-factory.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 11:44:29 -0600 (MDT)
To: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
cc: www-qa@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.BSF.4.10.10110081127050.81961-100000@measurement-factory.com>
On Mon, 8 Oct 2001, Karl Dubost wrote:

> 	So many ways to claim that a W3C technology is implemented.
> I would prefer to have in our specifications a paragraph which
> explains how to declare such a claim ala UUAG 1.0, (modular
> conformance).
> 	http://www.w3.org/TR/UAAG10/conformance.html#conditional-conformance
> 	I think also that a company or a developper claiming its
> support to a W3C technology should do it but with a complete
> description of what's implemented and what's not. it means having
> a list of all supported elements and for each element the
> supported attributes.

In real world, conformance claims are mostly marketing tools. You can
develop an elaborate set of rules how to claim conformance, but most
implementors will ignore them, especially if
	- the rules are not enforced
	- the rules are difficult to obey/support
	- the claimed conformance status is difficult to verify
	- real world conditions mandate violation of the rules
	  (e.g., for compatibility with broken but popular agents)

Thus, I would not recommend wasting time on developing a complex
system of conformance rules and procedures. Something like IETF
conditional/unconditional conformance levels are good enough. When I
see a "conforms to XYZ" claim, I take it with a grain of salt. It is
still useful information for me (at least they know about and probably
read the XYZ standard), but I would not rely on that claim to be 100%
true or accurate.


Received on Monday, 8 October 2001 13:44:32 UTC

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