Position paper: OASIS XSLT/XPath Conformance Technical Committee

Author: G. Ken Holman
Date: $Date: 2001/03/16 13:08:50 $(UTC)

Copyright (C) 2001 The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction
2 Committee objectives
3 Testable statements
4 Conclusion

1: Introduction

This document was prepared to by the OASIS XSLT/XPath Conformance Technical Committee in response to an invitation for position papers for the W3C QA Summit April 3-4, 2001.

The committee submission comprises this brief report and an overview article. The report documents two important issues raised during committee meetings, and the article (prepared for separate publication by a committee member) outlines the committee's conformance process.

2: Committee objectives

The committee's objective is to garner, compile, document and create a test suite of files the XML community can use for measuring and testing the conformance of XSLT and XPath processors to published W3C Recommendations. It is not an objective of the committee to perform such measurement, only to publish a collection any interested party can utilize in the accomplishment of such measurements.

It is explicitly not an objective for the committee to supply its own interpretations of issues raised from reading W3C Recommendations. In such cases, the committee needs to be able to forward issues to the W3C for official interpretation. Where a response from a Working Group or one of its members is in question (perhaps regarding the timing of a response that may be delayed, the accuracy of the details conveyed in the response, any perceived bias that may be present in the response, etc.) the committee would like an appeal process to be available where responses can be officially challenged. Such challenges are aimed at improving the testability and hence the quality of W3C Recommendations.

3: Testable statements

The committee found there were not very many identifiable "testable statements" in the Recommendations. Typically such statements, when present, were gleaned from the prose of the Recommendations by committee members. It would have been very useful if the authors of the Recommendations had explicitly marked up testable statements so they could be summarized and accounted for in test suites.

Note that the committee does not rely entirely on such testable statements and would like the W3C to consider the inclusion of such statements divined by the committee and sent to the W3C for candidate incorporation.

The committee feels this is a critically important task and would gladly play a role to overview such statements identified by the W3C during the publishing of Working Drafts, and to identify any statements it feels are missing from the document during the Candidate Recommendation phase.

The committee notes that developers should also find such statements invaluable during the development of the technology to ensure any implicit assumptions known only to the "inner circle" are communicated explicitly in the documents used by others.

4: Conclusion

The OASIS XSLT/XPath Conformance Technical Committee appreciates the opportunity to present the current status of developments and we look forward to a long relationship in the XML community with those interested in the subject matter. We also look forward to the chance to address any questions that may be posed regarding our work as a result of this presentation or for any reason whatsoever.

Official correspondence to the committee is welcomed through xslt-conformance-comment@lists.oasis-open.org.

Position paper: OASIS XSLT/XPath Conformance Technical Committee
G. Ken Holman
Copyright (C) 2001 The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS)
$Date: 2001/03/16 13:08:50 $(UTC)