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RE: Issue 1041: ICS Good Practices: 1.2 A, B., C

From: Lofton Henderson <lofton@rockynet.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 09:22:50 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: "Lynne S. Rosenthal" <lynne.rosenthal@nist.gov>, "'www-qa-wg@w3.org'" <www-qa-wg@w3.org>
At 10:51 AM 3/17/2005 -0500, Lynne S. Rosenthal wrote:

>My preference, is to be clear that the ICS is a vendor s articulation of 
>what they have implemented and implemented in his mind, correctly

That, I believe, is what my suggested rewording does.  E.g.,

feature-X-implemented + implicit-correctness-belief  = 

>(cause why would someone take the time to implement it badly?).

Whew!  This could take hours to answer.  Suffice it to say:  it happens, 
and (marketing) people use the presence of the (incorrect) feature to deceive.

It is not necessarily a case of "intentionally implement badly".  But 
someone takes a first crack at feature X, don't have time to finish it, 
don't have time to fix the bugs, gotta' put out a proposal to sell the 
product, add feature X to the checklist, etc.  (Maybe honestly intending to 
fix it before ... whatever).

I ran across this so much during the peak of the CALS frenzy, it was one 
major motivation for the ISO CGM "Profiles and Conformance" addendum (for 
which you were the editor, IFIC).  And for our WebCGM approach to ICS.

>So, I agree with your comment regarding .. answering yes & has been tested 
>and correctly implemented (i.e., conform).   I suggest dropping and 
>correctly implemented (i.e., conform).

This change is better than nothing.

>The problem is that people are confused often reading too much into the 
>conformance part of the ICS.

...but I still think my wording solves it cleanly, without a lot if 
intricate dancing around whether it's an inventory, with it's claimed 
correct or not, whether its substantiated incorrect or not.


>   I tried to remove as much of the conformance and claim of conformance 
> from the ICS definition and discussions.  It is and has been used as the 
> precursor to conformance testing.  It is well accepted in this (as 
> pointed out by Patrick s reference to ESTI, used this way by IGES, STEP, 
> OSI, and many others).  I would agree that ICS may be a bad name, since 
> it is confusing.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Lofton Henderson [mailto:lofton@rockynet.com]
>Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005 10:33 AM
>To: Lynne S. Rosenthal; 'www-qa-wg@w3.org'
>Subject: Re: Issue 1041: ICS Good Practices: 1.2 A, B., C
>At 10:47 AM 3/16/2005 -0500, Lynne S. Rosenthal wrote:
>An Implementation Conformance Statement (ICS) provides information about 
>an implementation to a specification, by presenting in a uniform manner 
>the capabilities (e.g., functions, features) and options that have been 
>implemented as well as limitations of the implementation. An ICS pro-forma 
>typically takes the form of a questionnaire or checklist, to be completed 
>for an implementation.
>Okay so far.
>It provides the implementer a way to indicate what has been implemented. 
>Think of it as an inventory of what has been implemented.  Note, that a 
>completed ICS does not indicate conformance of the implementation.  Hence, 
>answering yes to indicate a capability is supported does not mean that the 
>capability has been tested and correctly implemented (i.e., conforms).
>I don't like the last sentence.  It seems to imply that an implementer 
>should or could check "yes", something is implemented, even if they *know* 
>that it is not correctly implemented.  That seems absurd.  The ICS becomes 
>a vehicle for deceit.  (Such real-world abuses we actually seen at the 
>height of the CALS era -- checklists of implemented CALS stuff that was 
>known to be wrong.)
>Though I disagreed with it, I will live with the Boston decree that ICS 
>shall not contain any proof or substantiation of the claims, but it seems 
>to me absurd that someone, in an Implementation CONFORMANCE Statement, 
>should check "yes" to a feature that they know to be non-conforming or 
>In other words, the ICS "yes" should mean that the feature is implemented 
>and is claimed to conform (but without any proof or substantiation of that 
>I would replace the last 4 sentences (above) with something like:
>It provides the implementer a way to indicate what has been implemented. 
>Think of it as a template [ed.  recall that the context is "ICS 
>pro-forma"] for making detailed feature-by-feature conformance claims.
>You could add, "Whether or not the features do in fact conform as claimed 
>is verified only by conformance testing, which is beyond the scope of the 
>ICS."  That leads into the next stuff, which indicates that completed ICS 
>can be an input to a conformance testing process.
Received on Thursday, 17 March 2005 16:23:07 UTC

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