W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org > October 2001

Re: SYNTAX: RDF/XML Syntax WD work

From: Frank Manola <fmanola@mitre.org>
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 09:14:56 -0400
Message-ID: <3BD56D50.9010700@mitre.org>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
CC: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
Pat Hayes wrote:

>> Hi Dave
>> I do not feel that it is the job of a specification to assist a parser
>> writer. The job of a specification is to specify what needs specifying
>> (and no more or less). If at any point there is a conflict between the
>> task of assisting the reader in their task (e.g. writing a parser), and
>> the principle aim of specifying I am clear that the reader should be
>> left to seek assistance elsewhere. The reader should expect clarity from
>> a spec, if they want a howto then they may need a different document.
> I strongly agree with this. Specs should inform, but not constrain any 
> more than absolutely required. If there is a neat way to help a newbie 
> get a parser (or whatever ) written, then put that in a primer or 
> expert-guide document, but not in the spec itself.

I agree as well, but with the caveat that those other documents need to 
be written too!  They don't necessarily have to be products of the WG 
(although they can be), but if the folks that know the specs best (which 
we hope at least *include* those that write them!) also know things 
about pitfalls (in either meaning or implementation) that readers/users 
of the specs are likely to fall into (typically because the writers have 
fallen into them themselves), or have other useful guidance that could 
be provided, ideally that *should* be provided (in clearly separate 


Frank Manola                   The MITRE Corporation
202 Burlington Road, MS A345   Bedford, MA 01730-1420
mailto:fmanola@mitre.org       voice: 781-271-8147   FAX: 781-271-875
Received on Tuesday, 23 October 2001 09:14:05 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 20:24:05 UTC