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Re: Objection to resolution of LC comment [was: Answer to Paul Grosso about Classes of Products]

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 16:33:31 +0200
Message-Id: <6EC2076B-4B27-4D49-B8D4-6FA4FCCA45B0@w3.org>
Cc: <www-qa@w3.org>
To: Paul Grosso <pgrosso@arbortext.com>

Dear Paul,

We are replying to your _personal_ objection. Notice that it's  
unusual in the W3C Process. The first objection and the opening of  
the issue was coming from the XML Core WG, and it seems that there's  
no WG statement as you said, then the QA WG should move forward with  
this issue, because the deadline for raising issues is far beyond  
now. If you need examples, there are plenty of examples in  
specifications out there, and I could give you a full list.

Please be sure to read the full email before replying.

Le 05-05-25 à 21:23, Paul Grosso a écrit :
> Karl, QA WG,
> The XML Core WG discussed this once more today.  Other
> WG members share some of my concerns and confusion, but
> the WG decided not to make a WG statement.

Though we believe in the QA WG, that it's necessary to try to explain  
you the notion of class of products because it seems it's a source of  
confusion for you.

> Therefore,
> this statement is coming just from me (though other
> WG members may also make follow up comments on their on).
> Please consider this email to be my rejection of your
> response [1] to my comment [2] on the QA Framework Last Call.

Let's be clear, you understand that you can't reject something that  
has not been made by Paul Grosso, but by the XML Core WG. This is the  
answer of the QA WG to the XML Core WG.


Please understand that the Specification Guidelines are a part of a  
Quality Assurance practice that has been suggested for W3C Working  
Groups. Significantly, another part of the practice is for WGs to  
issue test materials as well as documents. When a WG contemplates  
assembling and issuing a set of test cases, they must consider which  
class of products will be the test subjects. The test cases will be  
applied to each of the subject products, all of one class and  
supposedly interoperable, and their respective results will be  
compared against the results that represent the standard of  
conformance. The notion of measuring conformance through testing  
motivates the SpecGL requirement for a "conformance clause" [A] of  
each spec, so that vendors intending to build conformant products can  
determine how to conform and which of their products could be subject  
to application of a W3C-sanctioned testing regime.

Your objection says:
 >Furthermore, many of the core XML specs are, in fact, referenced
 >by other specs that may well be applicable to other classes of
 >products not mentioned in the core spec.

Each spec must make its own designations of the class(es) of products  
for which it intends to define conformant behavior, if any. If it is  
also cited as normative by additional specs, each of the other specs  
is designating their own class(es) of products for which they intend  
to define conformant behavior, and so on. A very abstract  
specification such as InfoSet may not define conformant behavior of  
any class of product, but still be available to be cited normatively  
by other specs. In this paragraph, the word "designate" means that  
the WG commits to providing an objective standard by which an  
independent test lab can measure conformance of individual products  
(instances of the class of products). Such a commitment is fulfilled  
by appropriate wording in the spec (e.g., "A conforming XML processor  
MUST [exhibit certain behavior]...") and issuance of test cases will  
extend the WG's fulfillment.

In addition to providing an objective standard of conformance and  
possibly some conformance tests for one or a few classes of products,  
the spec may have the effect of imposing constraints on, and giving  
guidance to, developers of products in other classes. The WG may wish  
to recognize in the spec that the spec has such an impact, while  
stating that they do not intend to provide an objective standard of  
conformance. When the WG examines the full range of products that can  
be impacted by their spec, they can ask themselves, for each class of  
product: Do we intend to publish conformance measurement criteria and  
tests? The class(es) of product for which they answer "yes" are the  
one(s) that must be itemized in the conformance clause. (If this  
analysis proceeded product-by-product instead of class-by-class, it  
would be an exercise in discriminating against certain vendors.) A  
class of products for which the WG answers "yes" is one where the WG  
takes direct action to impose criteria for measurable interoperability.

In summary, the QA Working Group feels that the term “class of  
products” is a useful and well-defined concept in our Specification  
Guidelines.  The Working Group would be more than happy to consider  
specific wording changes that you suggest to make the “class of  
products” concept clearer and more precise in our Guidelines.

[A] http://www.w3.org/TR/2005/WD-qaframe-spec-20050428/#include- 

Karl Dubost - http://www.w3.org/People/karl/
W3C Conformance Manager
*** Be Strict To Be Cool ***
Received on Tuesday, 31 May 2005 14:33:38 UTC

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