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

From: Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2012 12:40:22 -0500
To: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <m2lip452pl.fsf@nwalsh.com>
"C. M. Sperberg-McQueen" <cmsmcq@blackmesatech.com> writes:
> I'm not sure how you can remove the necessity for WGs to make choices
> in this area without breaking something.
> Sometimes tight coupling is wanted, sometimes loose coupling is
> wanted.  The WG writing a spec must make that choice.  The best thing
> anyone in the position of the TAG can do is make clear what the choice
> is, provide some guidance about how to make the choice, and suggest
> some wording for signaling the choice.

Right. There are so many different specifications and so many
different kinds of relationships between them that I don't think it's
practical to try to mandate specific relationships.

Sometimes I want to say, Version 3.2.4b of Fribble Widgets and nothing
else will do. Sometimes I want to say, Barble Widgets, however they're
defined today, I don't care. There's a certain risk in making that
kind of open ended link, but sometimes that's a risk I want to take.

I do think, as an author, reviewer, and implementor of specifications
that the specification must contain links to specific, dated immutable
versions of related specifications.

In other words, even if the prose says that any version of Barble
Widgets will do, and refers to some URI that identifies the mutable,
evolving standard, I still want the references section to point to
some explicit, concrete version: Barble Widgets 2.9.1 dated 16 June

That immutable version let's me understand what the WG thought the
Barble Widgets standard was at the time when the reference was made.

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman Walsh
Lead Engineer
MarkLogic Corporation
Phone: +1 413 624 6676

Received on Wednesday, 18 January 2012 17:40:51 UTC

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