W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webappsec@w3.org > March 2015

Re: Privileged contexts charter text

From: Mike West <mkwst@google.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2015 20:13:35 +0100
Message-ID: <CAKXHy=dMhvv1XePuf_pc920fVAs-r-6yHd2QqfRRi7-suOzhhA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Crispin Cowan <crispin@microsoft.com>
Cc: Richard Barnes <rbarnes@mozilla.com>, Eric Rescorla <ekr@mozilla.com>, David Baron <dbaron@dbaron.org>, "public-webappsec@w3.org" <public-webappsec@w3.org>
On Tue, Mar 17, 2015 at 7:28 PM, Crispin Cowan <crispin@microsoft.com>
wrote:

>  Sorry for replying to myself, after actually reading Mike’s post … I was
> always taught that technical writing never says “should”. Does “should”
> mean “I don’t have to?” Leads to ambiguity. So a technical spec says either
> “must” (required) or “may” (optional). A really strongly recommended “may”
> is followed by the value prop of what you get if you follow the “may”
> guidance.
>
>
>
> It also really helps thinking in technical writing. If you go through your
> own doc and search for “should”, first you are really annoyed at having to
> choose “must” or “may”, and then you realize that the reason you are
> annoyed is because this is forcing you to resolve your own unaddressed
> questions.
>

We generally use a special meaning of "should" according to the definition
in https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2119, which basically boils down to "Do
X, please. If you choose not do to X, have a really good reason.". It's
more than "may" (which is truly optional), but not a "must" (which is truly
a requirement). Sometimes what we really mean is buried somewhere in
https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6919, of course... :)

--
Mike West <mkwst@google.com>, @mikewest

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>
Received on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 19:21:07 UTC

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