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

Re: Spec Guideline: subjectivity (re: issue #83)

From: Alex Rousskov <rousskov@measurement-factory.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2002 13:17:41 -0600 (MDT)
To: David Marston/Cambridge/IBM <david_marston@us.ibm.com>
cc: www-qa@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.BSF.4.44.0210071300140.55802-100000@measurement-factory.com>

On Mon, 7 Oct 2002, David Marston/Cambridge/IBM wrote:

> We can improve the quality of W3C specs even if the guideline must
> employ "subjective" words by presenting the notion of a "reasonable
> and qualified" user of the specs. Perhaps a 95% confidence rating is
> applicable as well. The spec (subject of the SpecGL) must be "clear"
> to at least 95% of its target audiences

A confidence like this is not measurable/testable in practice and,
hence, requiring it would be a waste of space in a SpecGL document.

> This is not to argue the main point that objective verbiage in the
> checkpoints would be preferable. I just want to show that SpecGL can
> accomplish its goals even if it's not possible to eradicate every
> last bit of subjective verbiage.

The goals of SpecGL (i.e., "better specs")  are so vague and
minimalistic that virtually any SpecGL, including the current draft,
would accomplish them. We should aim higher; SpecGL should be nearly
perfect because we have no backward-compatibility and similar
real-world constraints on producing a very good spec.

If a particular "last bit of subjective verbiage" cannot be
eradicated, there should be a specific (and, hopefully, objective)
reason for it.


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Received on Monday, 7 October 2002 15:19:10 UTC

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