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Re: formal model non-normative?

From: Paul Prescod <paul@prescod.net>
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 10:02:19 -0700
Message-ID: <36EA9A1B.8FC49720@prescod.net>
To: "'www-xml-infoset-comments@w3.org'" <www-xml-infoset-comments@w3.org>
David Megginson wrote:
> 
> It's essentially the same as an "in case of disagreement" warning on a
> gas pump -- if a spec describes the same thing in more than one way
> (say, but human-readable prose and a machine-readable formal model),
> it is essential that only one of the two be normative. The WG decided
> that, in line with most W3C specs, the prose should be normative.

Could you point me to a standard where the DTD or BNF is non-normative? I
notice that they are normative in XML, RDF, SMIL, DSIG, HTML 4.0, CSS1 and
XHTML. In the DOM, the IDL is normative. That's the majority of the W3C
RECs. 

W3C practice would seem to indicate that 

 a) formal models should be normative and
 b) if something can be expressed only once, and in a normative intuitive
formalism rather than prose, it SHOULD BE. 

Then there is no danger of competition between the prose and formalism.

-- 
 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself
 http://itrc.uwaterloo.ca/~papresco

"You have the wrong number."
"Eh? Isn't that the Odeon?"
"No, this is the Great Theater of Life. Admission is free, but the 
taxation is mortal. You come when you can, and leave when you must. The 
show is continuous. Good-night." -- Robertson Davies, "The Cunning Man"
Received on Saturday, 13 March 1999 10:08:25 UTC

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