W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-qa@w3.org > May 2002

Re: Testable assertion tagging for W3C specifications

From: Alex Rousskov <rousskov@measurement-factory.com>
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 09:00:20 -0600 (MDT)
To: Dimitris Dimitriadis <dimitris@ontologicon.com>, David Marston/Cambridge/IBM <david_marston@us.ibm.com>
cc: www-qa@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.BSF.4.10.10205280821550.64256-100000@measurement-factory.com>
On Mon, 27 May 2002, Dimitris Dimitriadis wrote:

> On Monday, May 27, 2002, at 06:56 PM, Alex Rousskov wrote:
>
> > From technical point of view, "pointing to normative sentence in a
> > Recommendation" does not imply a need for structure or W3C
> > documentation standard. An external document can point to normative
> > sentences using a variety of already available techniques, which will
> > depend on the format of the Recommendation and on the test tool
> > preferences.
> 
> [dd] You're right, it doesn't necessarily imply that. However,
> given the possible migration to a common markup for specifications
> being discussed here, it may seem to be a positive spinoff to have
> a uniform linking mechanism, especially considering that there are
> tendencies to try to streamline the test suites being produced.
> Pointing to a spec can of course be done in a variety of ways, but
> the question I raise is whether it is desirable to make the
> W3C-produced test related efforts do it in similar ways.

I think it is desirable for W3C-produced documents to have addressable
text. Period. 

Everything else, including a complex uniform spec writing language
(XSpec++ or whatever) and a complex uniform linking standard
(XSpecQuery or whatever) might create problems for some working groups
and for some documents while offering marginal benefit to others. Each
WG should be free to select the language to write their specs in. QAWG
can encourage certain formats (e.g., xmlspec) but should not require
them because even plain text is addressable.

Let's not try to kill diversity just because some problems are easier
to solve in a homogeneous environment. N years from now, our claim
that XFooBarL is the absolutely best spec-writing/linking language
will seem funny and naive.

If we assume that XML for documents is like DNA for life forms, we
could stop at that level of homogeneity and let the time (WGs) shape
specific spec writing languages. Until DNA-less aliens show up.


On Mon, 27 May 2002, David Marston/Cambridge/IBM wrote:

> We've already tried this with the first wave of XSLT/XPath tests
> being released through OASIS. See
> http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/xslt/index.shtml for the
> overview. In my opinion, and I'm the person who has done more work
> on these XPointer-style references than anyone, it is a lot harder
> than you suggest.

I did not suggest that it is easy or difficult, just pointed out that
it is possible in some cases.

> You want to be able to query the test suite in ways like: Find all
> the xsl:number tests where level="any" and count is defaulted.

I would not use XPointer-style queries for this kind of task.


Moreover, I was under impression that the scope of this thread is
addressing specific pieces of specs rather than ability to "query the
test suite". The latter is a very different problem, IMO. In other
words, being able to extract known-in-advance specific pieces from the
spec is very different from being able to search the spec (suite?) for
unknown-in-advance information.

Perhaps we should agree on the scope first!

Alex.
Received on Tuesday, 28 May 2002 11:00:33 UTC

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