One month in QA - March 2004

About the Quality Assurance monthly summary

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"Month in QA" is a monthly summary of the main topics discussed on, the public mailing-list of W3C QA Interest Group,, the public mailing-list of W3C's QA Working Group, as well as other news related to the Quality Assurance activity at W3C.

The regular editor for "Month in QA" is Lynne Rosenthal, NIST, co-chair of the QA Interest Group.

See also the initial calendar and initial requirements for this resource.

Topics for this period

A kinder, gentler QA Framework

The QA Framework documents are being redesigned - to be simplier, clearer, more usable and friendlier. This is in response to the feedback we received during the CR phase of the documents (thank you). The new, improved documents will consist of: QA Handbook (draft outline) to help chairs and staff manage and organize QA practices as well as lighter and focused versions of the Specification Guidelines (aka SpecLite) (draft outline) and Test Guidelines (aka TestLite) (draft outline). Work on these has just begun, we will keep you posted as they progress and welcome your comments.

Guest Topic of the Month: NIST's development of W3C test suites

This month's topic featured a discussion of the NIST test suite development by Mary Brady (NIST). Working with W3C, NIST has developed conformance tests for XML Core, DOM, XSL-FO, XML Schema and XML Query. Mary highlighted the differences between each test effort and improvements made as experience was gained - e.g., automating test generation and reporting. Also, a new NIST effort to develop a flexible, extensible test generator was discussed. Key points included: organize to work collaboratively, start with atomic tests, and produce associated information (e.g., issues list, FAQ, process document). A short version of this discussion was presented at the Technical Plenary session (March 2004).

Test suite validity

Triggered by the TP panel on Test Suites, Ian Hickson. initiated a discussion on test quality. Key points from the discussion include: tests should be valid (exception = error tests), run tests on multiple implemenations to find and fix the bugs, make tests useful - so they will be used, and dependence on other technologies is unavoidable - but should be minimized as much as possible.

Communicating with the QA Working Group

Confused? There are now multiple ways to communicate with the QA Working Group. Which should you use? Here is a quick guide.

More explanations here.

List of QA/Test contacts in W3C

We have begun to develop a list of people, by WG, who have been involved in testing efforts or have interests in testing and QA activities. Please help us build and maintain this list. Karl Dubost is coordinating this effort.

Misc. QA Activity News

Meeting minutes

All meeting minutes are available at:

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Created Date: 2004-04-1 by Lynne Rosenthal
Published and Last modified $Date: 2004/04/02 18:53:18 $ by olivier Thereaux

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