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

Re: Testable assertion tagging for W3C specifications

From: Alex Rousskov <rousskov@measurement-factory.com>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 14:07:51 -0600 (MDT)
To: andrew@opengroup.org
cc: www-qa@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.BSF.4.10.10205291400420.2562-100000@measurement-factory.com>

On Wed, 29 May 2002, Andrew Thackrah wrote:

>   I have wondered about the value of a specification in which each section
>   has 3 parts
>   1. description
>   2. definitions
>   3. assertions
> 
>   The first part is informative natural language discussion to set
> the context - what is being defined and how it is to used. This
> section would not be normative.
> 
>   The second part provides definitions of any data structures,
> tables etc.  This section is normative
> 
>   The third part contains assertions for the formal requirements
> of the section. This section is normative. Assertions can refer to
> definitions from the second part - a single assertion can refer to
> a table of values for example - this assertion can be decomposed
> into the appropriate number of unit tests.
> 
>   The advantage is that the spec writer has to write the
> assertions too (it's an advantage for test suite developers
> anyway..) 

IMO, we should not require spec authors to write assertions that can
be derived from the rest of the spec. The spec should not have
repetitions of information. If an assertion is essential, the author
should write it anyway, regardless of the document structure. If an
assertion is simply a derivation from some definitions/whatever, it
should not be included (or should not be in the normative part).

> If each assertion is uniquely identified then it can be
> referred directly from a test description.

True, but to "uniquely identify" an assertion, we do not need to
require description/definitions/assertions format. For example, you
did not use description/definitions/assertions format for your e-mail,
yet, I can uniquely identify the text "The first part is informative
natural language discussion" in it by referring to its byte offset or,
better, by searching for its context.

Alex.
Received on Wednesday, 29 May 2002 16:08:29 UTC

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