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test suite distinctions [was: Re: Feedback on "The Matrix"]

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 13:44:17 -0500
Message-Id: <200202271844.NAA283365@smtp1.mail.iamworld.net>
To: www-qa@w3.org
At 10:13 AM 2002-02-27 , Alex Rousskov wrote:
>Overall, the current solution may be sufficient. It is definitely the
>simplest and least controversial one.
>

Two pieces of evidence in support of Alex's approach:

1.  The analogy with UDDI+WSDL.  

The directory really just tells you that a service exists; everything else is addressed in the service prospectus in a rich language.

2.  An analogy with accessibility enforcement.

The coarsely-quantized rating system of three conformance plateaux for web accessibility as promulgated in WCAG 1.0 has very little "consensus stability margin" behind it.  The topic of conformance representations engenders a lot of ongoing controversy in the accessibility domain.

So best not to employ distinguished icons that can be interpreted as connoting degrees of authority without prior careful review of how different people will interpret, apply, and populate them.

The distinctions suggested fall in "potentially invidious" territory, as I see it.

Al

>On Wed, 27 Feb 2002, Tantek Celik wrote:
>
>> The "Test Suites" column is currently just a boolean
>> (hyperlinked!)  indicator of whether or not there is anything even
>> remotely resembling a test suite available for a particular
>> technology.
>> 
>> While this is useful, it would help significantly if the test
>> suites which were actually hosted at w3.org used a "W3C" icon
>> instead of the "hammer and wrench" icon.
>
>IMHO, "being hosted at w3.org" adds little information about the
>quality or even availability of the test suite. Reflecting the state
>of the suite (under construction, available, production quality, with
>public results database, etc.) may be a good idea. In some cases,
>however, assigning a state may be a controversial action. Rating the
>quality of a suite would be even more controversial, of course.
>
>> This will help quickly call out at a glance which specs actually
>> have official W3C test suites, vs. which have some sort of test
>> suite or plan for a test suite, and which have no form of test
>> suite at all.
>
>"Official" has little utility in this context, IMO. Whether I can use
>the test suite now is far more important (to me, anyway).
>
>If W3C branding is important, perhaps there should be two columns:
>"W3C endorsement" and "state/availability".
>
>The situation become even more complex when several test suites are
>available and described on a separate page. In that case, one could
>use the state of the "best" (e.g., already available) suite to assign
>an icon since people are more likely to use the best tool if given a
>choice.
>
>Overall, the current solution may be sufficient. It is definitely the
>simplest and least controversial one.
>
>Alex.
> 
Received on Wednesday, 27 February 2002 13:44:20 GMT

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