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Re: ACTION-350: Best practice for referring to specifications which may update

From: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2012 11:36:48 +0100
Cc: "C. M. Sperberg-McQueen" <cmsmcq@blackmesatech.com>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <9C7DB52C-BF00-4BCF-8DFA-02FBD02148B1@berjon.com>
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
On Jan 18, 2012, at 03:10 , Larry Masinter wrote:
> What is too complex and ultimately wrong  is to give options to those
> writing specs that make references. 

I beg to differ. Ultimately, those who write specs are those most informed about how they should handle their own references (if they're not, then we have an entirely different problem). They are the ones who should be making decisions about whether the specifications they reference can be trusted to remain compatible and should therefore be loosely bound, or on the contrary (hopefully only in extreme cases) have a broken upgrade path and need an anchored reference.

Of course editors need to be aware of this decision in the first place, hence the usefulness of a Best Practice discussion the issue. But beyond that, removing options from smart people who are better-informed about their problem domain than we could ever be does not strike me as particularly helpful.

I think that Henry's original proposal captures the two important pieces of information: the version of referenced specifications against which the WG developed (and tested), and its reliance on referenced technology remaining compatible in future.

-- 
Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon
Received on Wednesday, 18 January 2012 10:37:13 GMT

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