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Re: Framework documents nature

From: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2002 17:22:39 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: Mark Skall <mark.skall@nist.gov>
Cc: "Ian B. Jacobs" <ij@w3.org>, www-qa@w3.org
I'm starting to suspect that we're in violent agreement, at least on the 
"required" language of the documents.

Replies in-line...

At 06:02 PM 1/8/02 -0500, you wrote:
>At 10:01 AM 1/8/02 -0700, Lofton Henderson wrote:
>>At 10:11 AM 1/8/02 -0500, Mark Skall wrote:
>>>At 08:33 AM 1/8/02 +0100, Daniel Dardailler wrote:
>>>> > Coming from a conformance background, I'm still disturbed by providing
>>>> > recommendations rather than requirements when the implications of not
>>>> > following our processes could have a catastrophic impact on
>>>> > interoperability and the quality of implementations.  If we believe 
>>>> what we
>>>> > say about the importance of our activity, and we don't require many 
>>>> of the
>>>> > things we're asking for, then, by our own admission, we are inviting 
>>>> disaster.
>>>>I think we should have the same approach as for the WAI guidelines
>>>>(Lynne seems to agree with me here): our QA framework specifies
>>>>requirements, with various level of importance (MUST, SHOULD, MAY, P1,
>>>>P2, A, AA, etc), and someone else decides what to do with them.
>>>>This someone else can be the W3C Advisory Board stating that all WGs
>>>>must comply with the QA Framework Spec Guidelines to level AA, or with
>>>>the QA Framework Process Guidelines level A.
>>>I agree.  The WAI guidelines are an excellent model.  It seemed to me 
>>>that, based on our discussions so far, we were going to fall WAI (pardon 
>>>the pun) short of that.
>>Could you be more specific?  It is my belief that QA intends to follow 
>>the WAI model as closely as possible, deviating only when it is sensible 
>>to do so (Ian pointed out a couple of possible such instances).  If we 
>>are missing the mark (pardon the pun), it would help to have details so 
>>that we can adjust our aim.
>Okay, here goes.  The way (or is it wai) I understand the WAI guidelines 
>it that there are three different types of checkpoints - priority 1, 2 and 
>3.  Priority 1 means this "must" be adhered to; priority 2 "should" be 
>adhered to; priority 3 "may" be adhered to.

I think we (QA) intend roughly equivalent.

>There are then 3 conformance levels - A (all priority 1 checkpoints 
>satisfied); Double A - priority 1 and 2 checkpoints satisfied; Triple A - 
>priority 1, 2 and 3 checkpoints satisfied.

I thought, from 1/3/02 telcon, that this was suggested for Kirill's pending 
new draft of the Procs&Ops conformance clause (as resolution to Issue #26) 
-- model it on WAI conformance clauses.

(Note.  Above description is true of WCAG, but UAAG has a *very* different 
conformance clause -- necessarily so because of the complex context.  I 
hope we can stay close to the WCAG model.)

>This scheme is pretty constraining.  It explicitly defines 3 different 
>types of conformance and what is required to be able to claim these.  To 
>me, these are requirements.  You can never force someone or a WG to do 
>what we ask but (if we adopt this model)  you've "forced" a WG to do what 
>we ask if they want to say they're conforming.  Notice, to claim even the 
>weakest type of conformance, one must satisfy all priority 1 (must) 
>checkpoints.  This is completely analogous (in my opinion) to putting 
>"shall" or "must" requirements on an implementation when writing a 
>functional standard.

I agree with all of this.  I have always thought that we would go forward 
"...as if normative."

>You can never "force" an implementer to do anything, but if he/she wants 
>to claim they conform, then they had to have met all  the requirements.

It is the "force" that we have no control over (e.g., put it in the Process 

>Again, this is quite different than saying that the framework is 
>"nominally informative" - this tells me that nothing is required.

Aha, the crux.  I guess the present language refers to the "force".  I.e., 
it acknowledges that W3C policy does not require that you do these 
things.  Though further on it says "..as if normative", and "...could 
become part of W3C process."

I think that the draft (Framework) Conformance clauses would have brought 
focus here, for better expression, but you have highlighted it.  Per telcon 
discussion, they (Conformance clauses) will be WAI-like.  That would 
require that "nominally informative" and "..as if normative" be revised 

>>I have also been under the impression, since Brussels, that our approach 
>>to hard requirements (e.g., Process Document modifications) is as Daniel 
>>said above, "...and someone else decides what to do with them."
>>>My main point is that we need to document the issue, have a discussion 
>>>and come to a resolution.  I just wanted to make sure that we have a 
>>>cohesive strategy that is consistent with how we see our documents being used.
>>Per previous message, it is partially dealt with in Issue #16, which was 
>>discussed at Brussels and more or less closed.
>>But perhaps Issue#16 is too narrowly stated to capture your concern.  In 
>>that case, would you mind suggesting modifications to the wording of #16 
>>that would accurately express your concern?  Then we can reopen it for 
>>further discussion and a definitive closure.
>How about "Shall the QA framework documents be normative or 
>informative?"  Or "Shall the QA framework documents impose specific 
>requirements on the W3C Working Groups that must be satisfied before they 
>can claim conformance?"

I like sense of the latter better, as it does a better job of skirting any 
confusion about "force" -- i.e., whether anyone is going to make the WGs 
conform to these documents before their TRs can move down the Rec-track.

I'll enter it along those lines (though I think we actually may have 
resolved it already).

Received on Tuesday, 8 January 2002 19:22:36 UTC

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