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Re: Testing SHOULD

From: L. David Baron <dbaron@dbaron.org>
Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 19:30:55 -0700
To: Alan Gresley <alan@css-class.com>
Cc: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>, "public-css-testsuite@w3.org" <public-css-testsuite@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20080503023055.GA24049@ridley.dbaron.org>

On Saturday 2008-05-03 10:56 +1000, Alan Gresley wrote:
> fantasai wrote:
>> There are three levels of requirement in the CSS specs
>> MUST - the behavior is required
>> SHOULD/RECOMMENDED - the behavior is required unless there's a
>>                      good reason not to do it
>> MAY - the behavior is allowed

> I would say RECOMMENDED since 'should' or similar 'could' are quite weak 
> words considering there 'should' be good reason not to do it (the 
> behavior). For MAY I 'would' like OPTIONAL instead.

These terms aren't up for debate.  They've been standardized by RFC
2119 for over ten years: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2119.txt .  Nor
is a spec-wide editorial rewrite (to prefer some RFC 2119 terms over
others) of CSS 2.1 appropriate at its current maturity level (nor is
this the appropriate list to raise such an issue).

Using "SHOULD" and "MAY" is often much more concise than "OPTIONAL"
and "RECOMMENDED", and experienced spec readers ought to know what
they mean (or notice the text at the beginning pointing to RFC


L. David Baron                                 http://dbaron.org/
Mozilla Corporation                       http://www.mozilla.com/
Received on Saturday, 3 May 2008 02:31:40 UTC

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