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Re: ACTION-687: Please help me remember what this one is about

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@W3.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2012 11:58:09 -0500
Cc: Thomas Roessler <tlr@w3.org>, Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <EA1BEA73-AE9D-46FD-9AD7-8BE55858FE3C@W3.org>
To: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>

On 25 Apr 2012, at 11:51 AM, Noah Mendelsohn wrote:

> On 4/25/2012 12:29 PM, Thomas Roessler wrote:
>> Objection.
>> Referencing a document that is explicitly not intended to be referenced strikes me as a relatively obvious spec bug that, in this specific case, escaped review.  That's unfortunate.  I don't think I've heard anybody suggest that I-Ds are useful normative references for anything.
>> Hence, I don't understand how this gets even close to the level of a process question that needs to be put in front of the AB.
> I thought that somewhere in the W3C process was a clause that, put informally, boils down to: "The referent of any normative reference from a W3C draft or recommendation must be at a level of stability that is, at worst, one level flakier than the referring document."
> I can't offhand find where such a rule is set down, but Larry's comment seems to be about the general effectiveness of W3C guidelines in this area. It's also a matter of judgement, and maybe something on which we need a ruling, as to when if ever references to IETF IDs from W3C working drafts or Recs would/should be acceptable per such rules.

There is a requirement for a transition request (e.g., for CR [1]). You need to answer this question:

    "Does this specification have any normative references to W3C specifications that are not yet Candidate Recommendations? Note: In general, documents do not advance to Recommendation with normative references to W3C specifications that are not yet Recommendations."

There is also this in the manual of style [2]:

  "Normative references should be to stable and mature resources (e.g., only Recommendations)."

Earlier in that doc it also says:

 "If a reference is a W3C Recommendation track technical report that has not reached Recommendation, state in the References section that it is "work in progress."

There is no _rule_ against normative references to unstable materials. This is a matter of good practices and the transition reporting requirement.


[1] http://services.w3.org/xslt?xmlfile=http://www.w3.org/2005/08/01-transitions.html&xslfile=http://www.w3.org/2005/08/transitions.xsl&docstatus=cr-tr
[2] http://www.w3.org/2001/06/manual/#normative
Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)    http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/
Tel:                                      +1 718 260 9447
Received on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 16:58:24 UTC

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