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Re: References Re: What are the requirements/problems? Re: Working on New Styles for W3C Specifications

From: Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2011 23:49:59 +0000
To: Jim Melton <jim.melton@oracle.com>
Cc: Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, chairs@w3.org, "spec-prod@w3.org" <spec-prod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <7274B41DEC2849E3ABC791E59925BF15@marcosc.com>

On Wednesday, 14 December 2011 at 22:55, Jim Melton wrote:

> Marcos,
> It is not always the case that the "latest published version" of a  
> referenced document is intended. There are situations in which a  
> specific, dated reference is required, because the document  
> containing the references was written with respect to a specific,  
> dated version of some referenced document.

(I'm using the words "you" and "yours" here, but speaking generally - so please don't think I'm speaking personally)
Again, this happens; but it's not a good thing. If one spec progresses, then your spec becomes obsolete with respect to the specification referenced. To try to cling to and outdated reference by forcibly citing a dated version just confuses the users of the specification (implementers, developers, etc.)  If a cited reference updates and breaks your specification, then you should update your specification (and not try to scape goat by referencing and old, and now outdated, specification).  

Citing both specifications seems to hold as the logical solution here:  

"Implementers, use the latest oneā€¦ but we based our work on this dated one"  
> Furthermore, the editors  
> of documents sometimes change from publication to publication,  
> although that is perhaps relevant only if specific, dated versions  
> are required.

Marcos Caceres

Received on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 23:50:36 UTC

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