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Re: keep conformance objective (detailed review of section 1. Introduction)

From: Marghanita da Cruz <marghanita@ramin.com.au>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 10:29:37 +1000
Message-ID: <46FAF971.9090703@ramin.com.au>
To: Doug Jones <doug_b_jones@mac.com>
CC: HTML WG Public List <public-html@w3.org>

Doug Jones wrote:
> The syntax refers to the rules pertaining to the structure and order of 
> the language. Semantics is related to the meaning in the language. The 
> syntax of HTML5 can be checked by machine. Some of the semantics may 
> also be able to be checked by machine. A complete semantic check must be 
> by humans.
> A semantically correct document implies a syntactically correct document.
> So, the terms I prefer are syntactic conformity (syntactic conformance) 
> and semantic conformity (semantic conformance).

Looking at this section in the last day or so, I suggest it should be reworded 
along the following lines...

1.3 Conformance
(drop the word requirements from section header and last three paragraphs of the

To conform to this specification, Authors and Authoring and Reading Tools/Agents
which produce or read Documents must meet relevant criteria.

There is no implied relationship between Document conformance and reader (user
agent) conformance. To conform, User Agents(Readers?) MUST use the processing
model described in this specification, whether the Document conforms or not.

Conformance criteria are classified into two broad Categories - Authors and
Readers. Sub-Categories of conformance criteria are applicable to particular
applications of the HTML Specfication. Some Applications may fit into multiple
sub-categories and would need to meet a multiple sets of criteria in order to

Document Authors
Criteria for Documents (Syntax, Symantics...)
Criteria for Authoring Tools and Markup Generators (enable author to create
conforming documents)
Criteria for Document Conformancs Checkers

Document Readers
Criteria for Interactive Agents - Browsers (conforming interpretation of syntax
and symantics)
Criteria for Non-interactive presentation User Agents
Criteria for User Agents without Scripting Support
Criteria for Data Mining Tools
Criteria for API exposed to Javascript

> -Doug Jones
> On 2007 Sep 26, at 05:39, Patrick Garies wrote:
>> Philip TAYLOR wrote:
>>> But my idea of using two words instead of
>>> variants of one is that we are trying to communicate
>>> two quite different ideas : what makes a document
>>> (syntactically) valid, and what extra steps are needed
>>> before a valid document may also legitimately
>>> claim to conform to a formal-but-not-machine-verifiable
>>> specification.
>>> ** Phil.
>> The ideas aren?t so different; they?re simply two different aspects of 
>> conformance. A document that uses incorrect syntax is not conforming 
>> and neither is a document that violates specified semantic rules.
>> ? Patrick Garies

Marghanita da Cruz
Phone: (+61)0414 869202
Received on Thursday, 27 September 2007 00:30:21 UTC

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