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Re: Extensibility and Uniformity; defining "error" behavior

From: Rigo Wenning <rigo@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2009 11:20:41 +0100
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Cc: "Ray Denenberg, Library of Congress" <rden@loc.gov>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <200901091120.41665.rigo@w3.org>
On Tuesday 06 January 2009, Larry Masinter wrote:
> There is the procedural issue:
> The W3C process document uses the word "interoperable" in several
> places, e.g., http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/tr.html
> contains
> "... a technical report has two independent and interoperable
> implementations..."
> and
> "...demonstrate two interoperable implementations of each feature "

I also found:
The mission of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is to lead the 
World Wide Web to its full potential by developing common protocols 
that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability.
> Working groups should not redefine words (such as "interoperable"
> and "feature") from the documents that they reference or that
> control their advancement, no matter how reasonable their
> redefinitions might sound.

As I replied to Ray: I do think that "interoperable" 
or "interoperability" are terms that are sufficiently abstract to be 
capable to receive an interpretation. The process document uses the 
word, but it does not give a definition of what "interoperability 

So CSS 2.1. is not "redefining" a word, but CSS 2.1 is filling out a 
term, giving it an interpretation. CSS is about layout and the tests 
make sure that a certain layout looks the same (to some extend) in 
different implementations. This is seen as the "interoperability" in 
this very context. Whether the CSS WG's actual interpretation is good 
or bad is surely subject to criticism, but IMHO it must be only taken 
in the context, not as a general concept.

I find the discussion about interoperability useful and inspiring. The 
concept of "rough consensus and running code" changed the world. So I 
think it is not without legitimacy that "interoperability" is 
discussed here. It is worth the effort of all the bright people that 
I see contributing.



Received on Friday, 9 January 2009 10:21:21 UTC

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