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Re: Comments on Last Call WD of SSML

From: Max Froumentin <mf@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 11:46:35 +0200
To: "Daniel Burnett" <burnett@nuance.com>
Cc: <www-voice@w3.org>
Message-ID: <87brut51qc.fsf@w3.org>

"Daniel Burnett" <burnett@nuance.com> wrote:

> 1. Why is the xml declaration mandatory? This goes against the XML
>    conformance rules, and it means that a standard XML parser could
>    not be used as it would accept the absence of a declaration. Since
>    this is mentioned twice, I imagine that the WG had a good reason
>    to do so, and it would be nice to find why in the spec.
>
>>>> Proposed disposition:  Accepted
>>>> 
>>>> The xml declaration is not intended to be mandatory. We will
>>>> correct the error.

I am satisfied with this resolution.

> 1.5. Similarly, why is the SSML namespace declaration mandatory? 
>
>>>> Proposed disposition:  (none yet)
>>>> 
>>>> We do not understand your concern with the SSML namespace
>>>> declaration. Can you elaborate?

Having a mandatory namespace declaration is not an error, but I think
that on standalone (i.e. SSML only) documents it should not be
mandatory, mostly for simplicity and readability. The namespace can
always be determined by other means: MIME type, file extension, name of 
the root element, etc.

However I will accept the WG's resolution to leave the ns declaration 
mandatory, as again it is not an error, and as xthere are precedents.


> 1.6 Section 3.1 seems to mandate the use of xsi as the prefix of
>    schemaLocation.
>
>>>> Proposed disposition:  Accepted
>>>> 
>>>> The section 3.1 text regarding the prefix for schemaLocation
>>>> will be changed to permit any prefix to be defined for the
>>>> Schema schema.

I am satisfied with this resolution.

> 2. Why do all the examples link to the schema? It makes them 
>    less easy to read, and gives the impression that schemaLocation
>    is mandatory.
>
>>>> Proposed disposition:  Rejected (the implied request)
>>>> 
>>>> We have received comments from other reviewers that our
>>>> examples should be complete stand-alone documents. As a
>>>> result, the Voice Browser Working Group has taken the
>>>> following position with respect to all of its specifications:
>>>> We recommend, but do not require, the use of schema. For that
>>>> reason, our examples all contain references to the SSML schema.
>>>> We will clarify this in the specification.

I am satisfied with this resolution.

> 3. I have trouble understanding this, in 2.1.5: "It is an error if a
>    value for alphabet is specified that is not known or cannot be
>    applied by an SSML processor.", where "error" is defined as a violation
>    of the spec.
>
>    The test above indicates that values other than 'ipa' are allowed
>    for alphabet, so this would mean that if a processor doesn't
>    understand the value "xyz" (which a SSML producer has just come up
>    with), then the processor violates the spec?
>
>>>> No, the SSML *document* violates the specification. As per
>>>> the definition of "error", conforming processors may detect
>>>> and report such an error and may recover from it.

So an SSML document can violate the specification because it has a value
for 'alphabet' that is not given by a given processor but works in another? 
I would instead say that a conformant processor may not support a given
alphabet but must report an error. Maybe the QA people at W3C could help
clarify

Note that in 2.1.2 'conformant' is used. It should be 'conforming'.

> 4. in 2.2.1, the age attribute is defined as being of type "integer".
>    that should be positive integer. 
>
>    The style used for '(integer)' seems to indicate a formal reference
>    to a type. If it were, this would be more accurately described as
>    XML Schema's nonNegativeInteger. Ditto for the variant attribute which would
>    have to refer to xsd:integer
>
>>>> Proposed disposition:  Accepted with changes
>>>> 
>>>> We agree that the age attribute is incorrectly specified.
>>>> It should actually be a non-negative integer. We will correct
>>>> this and, where necessary, be more precise in the type
>>>> definitions for attribute values. We will also explicitly
>>>> indicate that this integer represents an age value in years
>>>> after birth.

I'm still uncomfortable with the underspecified value of "(integer)".
Is 2e+5 allowed, or 50.0 (which is an integer after all).
The schema itself describes it as 

<xsd:attribute name="age" type="xsd:positiveInteger"/>

So I think that you should say something like 'Acceptable values are
of type 'positiveInteger' as described in [SCHEMA part 2]'.

> 5. "Durations follow the "Times" attribute format from the [CSS2]
>    specification". I think this should be phrased as: "Durations
>    follow the <time> basic data type from the [CSS2] specification".
>
>>>> Proposed disposition:  Accepted
>>>> 
>>>> We will correct this.

I am satisfied with this resolution.

> 6. The definition of number in 2.2.4 
>    "A number is a simple floating point value without exponentials."
>    insert 'positive'. (sorry to be pedantic ;-)
>
>>>> Proposed disposition:  Accepted
>>>> 
>>>> We will make this change.

I am satisfied with this resolution.

> 7. the name of the <mark> element seems like an element of type ID.
>    why not define it as such (see XML 1.0). This would give you the
>    extra check (from the XML parser) that a name must not appear more
>    than once.
>
>>>> Proposed disposition:  Accepted
>>>> 
>>>> The name of the <mark> element is already of type ID.

I am satisfied with this resolution.
(I was in fact talking about the name attribute of the mark element)

> 8. desc seems to be the only element where no examples are shown.
>
>>>> Proposed disposition:  Accepted
>>>> 
>>>> We will add an example.

I am satisfied with this resolution.

> 9. the 5th paragraph of 3.1 "It is recommended ..." ends with a ':'
>
>>>> Proposed disposition:  Accepted
>>>> 
>>>> We will correct this.

I am satisfied with this resolution.

> 10. Stand-Alone documents. What is the difference between that 
>     and xml standalone documents?
>
>>>> There is no particular relationship between the use of the
>>>> term "stand-alone document" in SSML and "standalone document"
>>>> in the XML 1.0 specification. In the former, we intend only
>>>> to distinguish between complete SSML documents and fragments
>>>> of SSML documents.

I think that it should then be emphasised what the difference is, and
thus specify what a non-stand-alone ssml document is.

Max.
Received on Wednesday, 13 August 2003 05:47:09 GMT

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