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Re: ISSUE 1049: Resolution?

From: Al Gilman <Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org>
Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 15:15:30 -0400
Message-Id: <p06110408beb92adcb610@[10.0.1.2]>
To: www-qa@w3.org
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>

At 2:12 PM -0400 5/24/05, Karl Dubost wrote:
>Ian, Al, and WG :)
>
>This is an attempt to get a consensus. Could you reply ASAP. :) Many thanks.

Close, but I think we missed an edit in the "What does it mean?" paragraph.

Where it says:

What does it mean?..., make it clear which one takes precedence in case of
discrepancy.

Change:

s/which/where

So it says:

What does it mean?..., make it clear where one takes precedence in case of
discrepancy.

Rationale:

Respect the 'if' in

"..., if the developers of the specification have a clear position on
which one is the main point of reference in case of conflict, this
precedence should be clearly stated in the document."

If we don't make the futher edit I suggested above, I feel that the 
language in the
two sub-paragraphs (albeit Informative) is inconsistent.

Al

>This new piece of text includes modification in the "What does it 
>mean?" section and
>"Why Care?" section. It takes into account the comments of Al Gilman 
>and Ian Hickson and has been proposed[1] by Dave Marston after QA WG 
>teleconference.
>
>[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-qa-wg/2005May/att-0019/00-part
>
>
>===================================================
>NORMATIVE, OPTIONAL
>    Good Practice 11: Use formal languages when possible.
>
>INFORMATIVE
>    What does it mean? If an existing formal language (e.g. DTD, Schemas,
>    ...) is expressive enough to describe the technical requirements of
>    the specification, use it and when the English prose and the formal
>    language overlap, make it clear which one takes precedence in case of
>    discrepancy. [INS: The presence of such a statement does not relieve
>    the specification developers of their obligation to resolve conflicts
>    through the [232]errata process required by the W3C Process Document
>    [233]PROCESS-DOC]. :INS]
>
>     [232] http://www.w3.org/2004/02/Process-20040205/tr.html#errata
>
>INFORMATIVE
>    Why care?When possible, there is an immediate benefit of using a
>    formal language to describe conformance requirements. It minimizes
>    ambiguities introduced by the interpretation of the prose. There is
>    also the possibility of using existing tools for the given language to
>    facilitate testing and validation.
>
>    [INS: However, prose remains necessary to allow implementers to understand
>the specification, as well as to express additional requirements the
>formal language cannot express; this means that there are possible
>overlaps between the prose and the formal language. In this case, if
>the developers of the specification have a clear position on which
>one is the main point of reference in case of conflict, this
>precedence should be clearly stated in the document. :INS]
>
>INFORMATIVE
>    Related
>      * Wiki: [234]Formal Language vs. Prose? [235]WIKI-FORMAL-LANGUAGE]
>      * [236]Guidelines for the use of formal languages in IETF
>        specifications [237]IETF-FORMAL]
>      * INS: [238]Errata Management [239]PROCESS-DOC] :INS]
>
>     [234] http://esw.w3.org/topic/FormalLanguageVsProse
>     [236] http://www.ietf.org/IESG/STATEMENTS/pseudo-code-in-specs.txt
>     [238] http://www.w3.org/2004/02/Process-20040205/tr.html#errata
>
>INFORMATIVE
>Techniques
>
>      * There are plenty of formal languages used across W3C
>        specifications: DTD, XML Schema, Relax NG, EBNF, Z Notation, etc.
>        Picking the right one depends on the kind of specifications
>        developed (language, XML or not, protocol) and the benefit from
>        the formal language.
>      * To avoid discrepancies between the English prose and the formal
>        language, set up a process so that a given section is bound to a
>        given part of the formal language, and one cannot be modified
>        without the other.
>      * Use the formal language tools to validate the examples given in
>        the specification, to ensure they match.
>      * When using several formal languages in combination, generate
>        random content according to the rules defined in one of them and
>        try to validate it with the others, to find discrepancies.
>
>INFORMATIVE
>Examples
>
>    [240]XQuery Formal Semantics [241]XQUERY-SEMANTICS] section 1.1
>    defines where the document is normative over the grammar specs
>    (separate for XPath and XQuery) and where the grammar specs are
>    normative.
>
>     [240] http://www.w3.org/TR/2005/WD-xquery-semantics-20050404/
>=====================================
>
>
>--
>Karl Dubost - http://www.w3.org/People/karl/
>W3C Conformance Manager
>*** Be Strict To Be Cool ***
Received on Tuesday, 24 May 2005 19:15:41 UTC

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