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QA Framework: Specification Guidelines: Non-specification specifications (in About this document)

From: Gary Feldman <g1list_1a@marsdome.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2005 09:36:43 -0500
Message-ID: <41F7AAFB.6090106@marsdome.com>
To: W3C QA Interest Group <www-qa@w3.org>

The "About this document" section, first paragraph, has a sentence "Note 
that for some specifications ... separate conformance section."

The items listed, QA Handbook and Architecture of the World Wide Web 
simply aren't specifications.  The earlier definition of specification 
said, correctly, that a specification is a set of technical 
requirements.  If there are no requirements, then it's not a 
specification.  The entire sentence can be deleted.  If it's necessary 
to comment on such documents, then it should be something like "Some of 
the documents produced by the W3C process aren't specifications (in the 
sense used here), and hence this document does not apply" (or they need 
no conformance clause). 

I don't agree with a blanket statement that documents for which 
conformance is not an issue should have a conformance clause that 
explains why it doesn't need a conformance clause.  Not only is there 
the obvious circular contradiction, but the only justification for such 
a statement would be if there might be confusion about it.  For example, 
since the QA Handbook (for example) begins by saying that it's 
non-normative, there's no need for that document to belabor the point.  
Perhaps it might say "Documents for which conformance is not an issue 
may choose to include a statement explaining the lack of a conformance 
clause, if there might be confusion around that point." though 
personally, I think even that's saying too much.

Minor error:  the previous sentence, "A conformance clause template ..." 
has an error at "...to assist editors satisfy requirements...."  The 
second "to," between "editors" and "satisfy" is missing.

Received on Wednesday, 26 January 2005 14:38:17 UTC

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