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[Bug 11259] Use "MUST" consistently to express normative requirements

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 21:11:22 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1PTL6g-0000EJ-Uw@jessica.w3.org>

--- Comment #4 from Eliot Graff <eliotgra@microsoft.com> 2010-12-16 21:11:22 UTC ---
(In reply to comment #3)
> Hmm. That doesn't altogether make sense to me.
> If Polyglot Markup is a normative spec, then it is important that it carefully
> defines conformance.  For this sort of spec, the possibilities are:
> 1. Conformance for documents
> 2. Conformance for software:
> (a) Software that produces documents
> (b) Software that consumes documents
> The fact that there are no consequences for user agents means that 2(b) is not
> really meaningful here. But I think 1 and 2(a) are.
> You can define 2(a) in terms of 1 (producing software is conforming if it
> produces conforming documents).
> I believe the right approach is to use MUST whenever it is a constraint that
> conforming documents must obey.
> Perhaps I should open a separate bug for this.

Hi James.

I am going to leave this bug as resolved. As early as last June, the Director
has indicated that the use of RFC2116 language is not required for a normative
spec of this nature, and, in fact, should be discouraged [1].

In normative text, as this is a specfication of a set of documents, we prefer
the "A polyglot document is" to a "A polyglot document MUST be" style, as we
are not talking about the behaviour of software.

Tim's reiterated this as recently as last month, when we talked about this at

Thanks for the feedback.


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Jun/0225.html

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Received on Thursday, 16 December 2010 21:11:24 UTC

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