Re: Normative vs. non-normative references

/ Joseph Reagle <> was heard to say:
| I remember once asking if there was a normative definition of normative. 
| (This certainly came up in questions of dependencies between 
| specifications.) Regardless, never saw anything in writing and a convention 
| for the W3C has yet to appear [1] though some WGs use the distinction. 

My own feeling is that a reference should be normative if and only if
the specification making the reference includes a definition from the
referenced specification.

So, if you say, "whitespace (as defined by production 3 of the XML
Rec) ..." you're making a normative reference to the XML Rec.

If you say, "constructed from the object model of the document, for
example the DOM Level 1 object model or the XPath data model, ..."
then you're not making a normative reference.

However, I have to admit that my own interest in this case was for
reasons having nothing to do with technically understanding the spec,
so it's not something I feel very strongly about. But I do think specs
editors should make the distinction clear.

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM   | It is better to waste one's youth than to do
XML Standards Engineer | nothing with it at all.--Georges Courteline
XML Technology Center  | 
Sun Microsystems, Inc. | 

Received on Thursday, 24 January 2002 15:45:46 UTC