W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-qa@w3.org > May 2002

Re: Testable assertion tagging for W3C specifications

From: <scott_boag@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 15:45:33 -0400
To: Jonathan Robie <jonathan.robie@datadirect-technologies.com>
Cc: spec-prod@w3.org, w3c-query-editors@w3.org, www-qa@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF8578304B.B4458B2A-ON85256BB1.006B1266@lotus.com>

> This sounds like it might force a particular writing style and constrain
> the sentence structures used by editors.

Maybe.

> I am concerned about anything that would increase the work load or the
> constraints on editors.

Personally I think that testability of a specification should be a priority
issue.  Yes, it might increase work load in the short term.

On the other hand, it might decrease workload in a way.  Too often we think
of the specification as prose.  What it really must be is a series of
testable statements.  Let someone else write a tutorial.  By thinking of
specifications as a kind of legal document, you may reduce the overall
amount of verbiage, and thus reduce the text and the number of errors that
can creep in.

But this is just some arguable speculation.  Really, hell if I know.  I do
know that it's always a good idea to engineer with testing in mind.  Too
often testing and verification is left as an afterthought.

-scott




|---------+-------------------------------------------->
|         |           Jonathan Robie                   |
|         |           <jonathan.robie@datadirect-techno|
|         |           logies.com>                      |
|         |                                            |
|         |           05/06/2002 03:10 PM              |
|         |                                            |
|---------+-------------------------------------------->
  >----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
  |                                                                                              |
  |       To:       scott_boag@us.ibm.com, spec-prod@w3.org, w3c-query-editors@w3.org            |
  |       cc:       www-qa@w3.org                                                                |
  |       Subject:  Re: Testable assertion tagging for W3C specifications                        |
  >----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|




At 01:29 PM 5/6/2002 -0400, scott_boag@us.ibm.com wrote:

>    Encourage document editors to view some of the sentences as "test
>    assertions" and to write them in a style that conveys precisely what
>    they declare.
>    Explore possibilities for machine processing of testable sentences in
>    the future.

This sounds like it might force a particular writing style and constrain
the sentence structures used by editors. Am I reading too much into this?

I am concerned about anything that would increase the work load or the
constraints on editors. We've got an enormous amount of work to do as it
is.

Jonathan
Received on Monday, 6 May 2002 15:54:02 GMT

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