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LC comment for SpecGL : 'limits of RFC 2119 key words'

From: by way of the Lastcall Form <lesch@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 21:39 +0900
To: www-qa@w3.org
Message-Id: <20030314123935.AEA5F599@toro.w3.mag.keio.ac.jp>

Here is a last call comment from Susan Lesch (lesch@w3.org) 
on QA Framework : Specifications Guidelines (and Examples and Techniques)
received by the LC form system.

Submitted on behalf of: N/A
Comment type: Substantive
The comment applies to: "13.1 Use conformance key words."
Comment title: limits of RFC 2119 key words

"the specification MUST use RFC 2119 keywords to denote whether or not requirements are mandatory, optional, or suggested" is Priority 1. Must all testable statements and or test assertions (sorry I'm not clear on the difference between them and maybe that needs to be clarified, too) contain RFC 2119 key words?

RFC 2119 [1] section "6. Guidance in the use of these Imperatives" puts limits their use. (I mentioned this to the QAWG about a year ago.) They musn't be used only to ask implementers to do something a Working Group would like to see.

Proposed resolution : 
One way to solve this is to quote or paraphrase and link to the RFC.

"Imperatives of the type defined in this memo must be used with care
and sparingly.  In particular, they MUST only be used where it is
actually required for interoperation or to limit behavior which has
potential for causing harm (e.g., limiting retransmisssions)  For
example, they must not be used to try to impose a particular method
on implementors where the method is not required for

[1] http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc2119.txt

This comment was submitted through the lastCall form system,
designed by Martin Duerst and Adapted for the QAWG by Olivier Thereaux.
Received on Friday, 14 March 2003 07:39:37 UTC

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