Proposal on forming of W3C Test Group (action item A-2002-03-1-3)


Below please find my outline of a proposal for forming a dedicated Test 
Group within or in parallel to the QA activity. For simplicity's sake I 
write in in email form, after receiving comments I will circulate a more 
usual html draft.

Forming a QA Test Group

Rationale: Simplify production of Test Suites (with the required minial 
set of quality requirements), enhance coordination between WGs and allow 
for easier asserting of cross-specification functionality. Also to 
increase the practice of the guidelines produced by the QA WG.

Introduction: Most of the QA-related test activities that have been 
produced up until this date in connection to W3C specs have either been 
inernally produced within the particular specification's WG, or 
incorporated in coordination with external parties. This has lead to 
quality testing frameworks on the one hand, but in some cases very 
different and incosistent, on the other.

Proposal: According to the work that this WG produces, the W3C and its 
WGs shouls produce test suites that are checked against the same 
guidelines and checkpoints. This implies that they should share some 
basic functionality and design. In order to achieve this and ease the 
burden on the WGs that are to produce the Test Suites, I propose that 
the W3C form a special Test Group which has the characteristics below:

1. Have full and normative knowledge of the various QA-related 
frameworks within the W3C, especially with regard to tests and 
conformance issues (as opposed to specification authoring, for example)
2. Help WG representatives to produce Test Material (mentioned, but not 
formalized so far in the QA WG work)
3. Aid in producing Test Materials to be used for testing 
interdependencies between implementations of specifications
4. Help in producing specification authoring tools that allow easier 
generation of test materials (particulalry important given the current 
idea of enhancing granularity of schemas used to write W3C 

Organization: The Test Group should ideally be another (technically 
oriented) WG within the QA activity. The reason it shoudl be a WG is 
that it needs a chair, for coordination, W3C staff allocated in order to 
make sure the technical architecture is there, as well as W3C member 
organizations and/or invited experts.

Also, it is important that there is a group that can take over after the 
current QA WG finishes the more process-oriented work. It is certain 
that there will be many issues witht the testing frameworks that will be 
produced, and even more certain that various issues will arise in 
connection with conformance claims that will be made by various 

Concluding, I not that one was of viewing this group's work (but not 
exhaustive) is as the more techically oriented parts of the current QA 
WG documents: making what we say there actually happen.

I look forward to the WG's comments.

Kind regards,


Received on Thursday, 4 April 2002 08:19:58 UTC