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Re: Answer to Ian Hickson: Formal vs prose language normativity

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 16 May 2005 10:42:50 -0400
Message-Id: <746283F9-07D8-4397-91A3-BD3CD68C3DBA@w3.org>
Cc: www-qa@w3.org
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>

Hi Ian,

Le 05-05-15 à 21:17, Ian Hickson a écrit :
> On Fri, 13 May 2005, Karl Dubost wrote:
>> We do not necessary fully agree with your comments but we do  
>> understand
>> your concerns. We came with the conclusion that it would be bad for
>> developers if they can't move forward so we decided to keep our  
>> stance
>> on having a rule to move forward in case of conflicts.
> I don't understand that.
> What if the prose contradicts something else in the prose?

I think we should try to make a more concrete examples. The QA  
Working Group is trying to be pragmatic here.

Statement: It will never be possible to publish a document as a REC  
without errors.

1. So a WG is developping a technology and is publishing WDs.
2. Reviews help to fix mistakes in the specification (incoherence,  
bugs, inconsistencies, etc, contradiction in the prose, the formal  
language, or both).
3. The technology is published as a REC.

4.  An implementer detects an error in the specification, for example  
contradiction between the formal language and the prose.
5. The implementer send a comment to the Mailing List to open an issue.
6. The WG has in charge to publish an errata on the technology.

A few issues:
     * The WG doesn't exist anymore
     * The WG is not anymore chartered to make conceptual changes to  
the specification
     * The WG is slow to answer
     * The interpretation in the community and/or in the WG are  

Basically it might sometimes takes a lot of time to fix the mistake.  
The question is then:
     * Should all developers stop their work for months or years?
     * Should developers rely on their own hacks to fix the mistake?  
(might be interop problems)
     * Should developers follow a rule given in the specification? So  
at least there's a uniformity?

The decision of the WG, I think, is in that sense being pragmatic.  
Well, we recognize something bad might happen, and in this case you  
should try to follow this rule. It doesn't mean that the WG will not  
fix it, by the process document the WG has to fix it.

But in the meantime what's happening? What are the solutions?

Ian, do you have a solution for it that would be strict enough with  
regards to your expectations but still tied to the reality of the  
social building of a standard? :)
I think we are making progress.

Karl Dubost - http://www.w3.org/People/karl/
W3C Conformance Manager
*** Be Strict To Be Cool ***
Received on Monday, 16 May 2005 15:35:24 UTC

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