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Re: Should modules be divisible?

From: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2002 10:20:13 -0600
Message-Id: <>
To: www-qa@w3.org

Clearly, QAWG should enter an issue about "atomicity of modules".  I'll do 

Almost certainly, we will not be able to resolve it before publication of 
SpecGL in 2 weeks.  But that is okay -- the purpose of the next publication 
is precisely to flush out discussion and issues like this.

Other comments in-line...

At 04:15 PM 8/12/02 +0200, Dominique HazaŽl-Massieux wrote:

>Le lun 12/08/2002 ŗ 16:06, Al Gilman a ťcrit :
> > At 08:58 AM 2002-08-12, Dominique HazaŽl-Massieux wrote:
> > >The current editor draft of the spec GL says:
> > >
> > >"Atomicity of modules within profiles represents a clean design, and a
> > >reflects that the modularization has been well tailored to the goal of
> > >building profiles from modules"
> > >http://www.w3.org/QA/WG/2002/08/qaframe-spec-0804.html#Gd-group-require 
> ments-modules
> > >
> > >This is said in the general verbiage of the GL about modules. I wonder
> > >if this should not be a checkpoint instead since it does bring a
> > >judgment on the design of modules.
> >
> > This kind of motherhood should be expunged from the document.

I agree that it shouldn't be worded like that.  It is something of a 
placeholder (and red flag!), documenting a loose QAWG consensus about 
atomicity of modules.  "Rules for Profiles" in several standards define 
such a requirement -- XHTML does it, SMIL does it, CSS does it, SVG1.1 has 
the rule but it is broken by some profiles in Mobile.

Exactly what it means is:  if you define a profile of one of these 
languages, you must observe atomicity in order to earn a label like "Host 
Language Conforming Profile".  It is implicit -- but never said explicitly 
-- that these profiles are "good" according to criteria defined by each of 
these respective WGs.  Of course, that doesn't mean that someone can't 
define a profile contrary to the rule.  It just means that the profile 
doesn't get the WG's classification.  I see it as a means for these WGs to 
provide guidance towards what they consider to be good design.

So for the pending SpecGL publication -- recognizing that we won't resolve 
the issue before then -- we have several options:

0.) leave it alone, let others comment, with the recognition that we'll 
address and resolve before following publication.
1.) Change the motherhood phrasing to a SHOULD phrasing, to reflect the 
existing loose QAWG position, and leave it at that until following publication;
2.) Have a priority 1 (p1) checkpoint somewhere. "Address atomicity of 
modules."  In other words, specifications must consider the question, 
described and justify their choices.
3.) Have a p2 or p3 checkpoint, "Ensure that modules are atomic [when 
assembled into profiles]."

In all options, we can and should flag the existence of the issue.

> >
> > The W3C lacks the organizational "capability maturity" after the
> > language of the CMU/SEI 'Capability Maturity Model' to ensure that
> > modules it ordains are uniformly fit to claim atomicity.
> > One can only
> > experiment with both atomic and subsettable premises in appropriate
> > contexts and make the groundrules as to what the terms of offer of
> > a module are.
>What about the CR phase? Isn't the right time to ensure that atomicity
>of modules make sense? Provided that the PR entrance criteria is
>restrictive enough on the module implementation, I think the process
>ensures the possibility of such a claim. And if that's the case, the QA
>framework should probably provide some guidance on this.

Received on Monday, 12 August 2002 12:20:09 UTC

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