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Re: Erratum in Normative References

From: C. M. Sperberg-McQueen <cmsmcq@blackmesatech.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2014 10:37:34 -0600
Cc: "C. M. Sperberg-McQueen" <cmsmcq@blackmesatech.com>, www-xml-schema-comments <www-xml-schema-comments@w3.org>, Liam Quin <liam@w3.org>
Message-Id: <9FEF74E5-7C97-4C59-8EF3-58DBB33C4026@blackmesatech.com>
To: "Hugh Cayless, Ph.D." <hugh.cayless@duke.edu>

On Oct 28, 2014, at 7:42 AM, Hugh Cayless, Ph.D. wrote:

> No, I agree entirely that the programmer’s position is sound—even if I don’t agree with it. The error is that the datatype spec refers as a normative reference to a document which explicitly says “don’t use me as a normative reference”. That must be a error, no? In which case the question becomes which version is the right one to point at...

You raise an interesting question.  I think the short answer is, no,
that is not necessarily an error.  A flaw in the craftsmanship of the
spec, perhaps.  A suitable topic for gibes and raillery directed at
the responsible editors and WG chair.  But not necessarily an error.

Any document may describe how it should be used or referred to, but 
that does not, as far as I can tell, prevent it being used or referred
to in other ways.  

It may be that W3C's publication rules ought to include a provision
saying that W3C recommendations should not make normative
references to W3C proposed edited recommendations, or to W3C 
working drafts intended to lead to new editions.  I don't believe they 
said that at the time that XSD 1.0 2e was published (I don't have
time to check their current state), and if they did, the reference to a 
working draft of a new edition of XML went unremarked upon and 
unobjected to.

The result seems to me to be that XSD 1.0 2e does make a normative 
reference to a working draft of XML 1.0 2e, deaf to the protestations 
of the latter document.  There are doubtless many ways in which the 
world is unsatisfactory, from the point of view of any version of the 
XML specification; having unwanted normative reference made to 
oneself from other specifications is but one more of them.

* C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, Black Mesa Technologies LLC
* http://www.blackmesatech.com 
* http://cmsmcq.com/mib                 
* http://balisage.net
Received on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 16:38:02 UTC

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