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

Re: levels/options considered harmful

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 23:59:57 -0400
Message-Id: <p05111714b90a2f6e89f1@[]>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: www-qa@w3.org, Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
At 22:36 -0500 2002-05-16, Dan Connolly wrote:
>On Thu, 2002-05-16 at 22:13, Karl Dubost wrote:
>>  Dan, Did I understand your concerns?
>I don't think so.
>Let me try to be more blunt: the QA guidelines
>say "specify flavors of conformance" as if
>having multiple flavors of conformance were
>an every day, desireable thing.

It doesn't say that. It just says you have different kind of 
conformance which depends on the technology you are using. When you 
are using one type of conformance, you are tied to it.

So on the developers side, they will have only one possible kind of 
conformance depending on the spec.

>Multiple levels/flavors of conformance do not
>serve interoperability; they are often a result

The flavors here is used. You can use three types of programs
which a), b), c) and d). When a WG choose one, the developper will 
have one of the flavor a), b) c) or d)

As I said the guidelines 3 is not about the content of the 
conformance clause, is about what kind of requirements you have to do 
if you put a conformance clause in your spec as an editor.

So you still miss the point, IMHO.

>of *failure* of consensus. "We couldn't find
>a set of 7 features that we all agreed were necessary
>and sufficient; we got tired of arguing
>and settled for two levels; one with 5 features
>and one with 10. The market will decide who's
>really right." Sigh. The premise of a W3C working
>group is that the market is ripe for a
>consensus standard, not a multiple-choice-quiz.
>In such cases, the guideline that best serves
>quality is: when in doubt, leave it out.
>Publish a spec with just the 5 features, and
>see if the market supports a version-next
>with 7 or 10 features.
>Publish working drafts that say "do we need
>feature X? is it OK if we cut it out?"
>But (as a rule/guideline)
>don't claim victory (REC) until you've decided one
>way or the other.
>>  At 21:17 -0500 2002-05-16, Dan Connolly wrote:
>>  >regarding:
>>  >
>>  >"Guideline 3. Specify flavors of conformance.  "
>>  >	-- http://www.w3.org/TR/2002/WD-qaframe-spec-20020515/
>>  >
>>  >That guideline is presented as if different
>>  >flavors of conformance have no downside whatsoever.
>>  You refer to http://www.w3.org/TR/2002/WD-qaframe-spec-20020515/#b2ab3d133
>>  There are cases where conformance could be modular. The examples
>>  which is given is the conformance clause of User Agent Accessibility
>>  Guidelines.
>>  For example, it doesn't make sense to impose on a braille user agent
>>  to support CSS colors, or CSS positionning.
>Perhaps not; but I consider that an exceptional case. The WAI
>specs should (and do) take extra measures to explain why
>it's reasonable to have such a complex test for conformance.
>>  Another example, The Process Document is managed as a specification
>>  and do not have a conformance section
>>  http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Process-20010719/process.html
>I don't see how that's relevant; the process document isn't
>about interoperable technology, but about predictable, fair process.
>>  The Guideline 3 which has checkpoints Priority 2, means if you decide
>  > to conform to QA Level "AA" (should be changed to avoid confusion
>  > with WAI), you have to fullfil all checkpoints 3.*, We do not impose
>  > the conformance rules, We say depending on the conformance statement
>>  you'll choose, you'll have to respect a kind of organisation of
>>  Conformance rules in the table of contents, etc.
>I suggest you should advise what sort of conformance clause
>best serves the interests of quality and interoperability:
>very simple, single-choice conformance clauses: implementations
>conform or they do not. (or: documents conform or they do not.)
>>  The Guideline 1 says
>>  http://www.w3.org/TR/2002/WD-qaframe-spec-20020515/#b2ab3d117
>>  Checkpoint 2.1. Include a conformance clause. [Priority 1]
>>  So you must have a conformance clause at minimum, if you decide to
>>  follow QA rules.
>>  If you want to make it mandatory for all specs...
>No, I'm just trying to see that our experience about what makes
>a quality spec is reflected in our QA guidelines.
>To wit: SGML had lots of optional features. XML has almost none.
>XML is much more widely deployed. That's very, very valuable
>experience; let's pass it on.
>>  you can impose in
>>  the pubrules that W3C Specs must respect QA Level A, as it has been
>>  done for WAI.
>>  Dan, Did I understand your concerns? or can you make it more 
>>precise? Thanks.
>>  --
>>  Karl Dubost / W3C - Conformance Manager
>>             http://www.w3.org/QA/
>>        --- Be Strict To Be Cool! ---
>Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/

Karl Dubost / W3C - Conformance Manager

      --- Be Strict To Be Cool! ---
Received on Friday, 17 May 2002 00:13:16 UTC

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