Quality Assurance glossary

This document has been created to define the use of vocabulary among our specifications and Quality Assurance activity. You can send suggestions at www-qa@w3.org with the topic [glossary] and the title of the mail. Any comments/suggested changes to the glossary must be accompanied by specific wording.

The glossary is given to fix the terms used at W3C for the Quality Assurance and Conformance activity. It should be used as a definition for working groups to define their terms in Technical Reports and documentation issued inside and outside W3C. This glossary has been written by Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org> (W3C) and Mark Skall <mark.skall@nist.gov> (NIST)



Atomic Test
A test case that tests a single rule from the specification and maps back to exactly one assertion. This is in contrast to some test cases that may test a combination of rules.


Acknowledgement that a validation was completed and criteria established by the certifying organization for issuing a certificate (or branding) has been met.
Class of Products
The generic name for the group of products or services that would implement, for the same purpose, the specification, (i.e., target of the specification). A specification may identify several classes of products.
This term is deprecated. The QA Working Group recommends to use the word Conformance. See Conformance.
Fulfillment by a product, process, systems, or service of a specified set of requirements.
Conformance clause
A section of the specification that defines the requirements, criteria, or conditions to be satisfied by an implementation in order to claim conformance.
Conformance Degree
Part of a nested hierarchy of multiple types of conformance allowed within a specification.
Conforming Document
Document that obeys the rules defined in the recommendation it was written for.
Conformance Level
Deprecated. See conformance degree. Note: "Conformance level" is discouraged in new specifications, because of confusion with "functional level".
Conformance Requirement
Term used to describe a necessary condition of a specification imposed on implementations. Conformance requirements can have different degrees of necessity: mandatory, recommended, or optional.
Conformance Testing
Testing the level of fulfilment with regard to the claim done on features implementation


Deprecated feature
An existing feature that has become outdated and is in the process of being phased out, usually in favor of a specified replacement. Deprecated features are no longer recommended for use and may cease to exist in future versions of the specification.
Dimensions of Variability (DoV)
The ways in which different products that are conformant to a specification may vary among themselves.
Discretionary Item
Deliberate and explicit grants of discretion by the specification to the implementations that describe or allow optionality of behavior, functionality, parameter values, error handling, etc.


The ability to incorporate additional functionality beyond what is defined in the specification. It broadens the possibility of the technology.
The ability of a specification to accept extensions in a defined way. A specification is extensible if it provides a mechanism for any party to create extensions.


An implementation is a realization of a technology in accordance to the principles defined in the technical specifications for this technology. This implementation can be a document, product, application, process, service, system, or other entity.
Implementation Conformance Statement (ICS)
A questionnaire or checklist for providing information about an implementation to a specification, by presenting in a uniform manner the implemented capabilities (e.g., functions, features) and options as well as limitations of the implementation.
Text in a specification whose purpose is informational or assistive in the understanding or use of the specification, and which contains no conformance requirements or test assertions.


A technology subset that is one of a hierarchy of nested subsets, ranging from minimal or core functionality to full or complete functionally.


A collection of semantically related features that represents a unit of functionality.


Text in a specification which is prescriptive or contains conformance requirements.


Obsolete feature
An existing or deprecated feature that has ceased to exist and that is listed for historical purpose.


A subset of a technology that is tailored to meet specific functional requirements of a particular application community.


Quality Assurance, QA
The process assuring the quality of one organization's outcomes.


Semantic Requirement
Same as test assertion
a set of language or protocol rules serving as a rallying point, as a base for independent agents to communicate together without a specific and a priori agreement.
Document that prescribes requirements to be fulfilled by a product, process, or service.
Strict Conformance
Conformance of an implementation that employs only the requirements and/or functionality defined in the specification and no more (i.e., no extensions to the specification are implemented).


A proposition is testable if there is such a procedure that assesses the truth-value of a proposition with a high confidence level.
Test Assertion
A measurable or testable statement of behavior, action, or condition. It is derived from the specification's requirements.
Test Case
An individual test that corresponds to a test purpose, which in turn maps back to the assertion(s), and finally the spec.
Test Purpose
An explanation of why the test was written, and must map directly to one or more test assertions.
Test Requirement
Same as test assertion
Test Suite
A set of documents and tools providing tool developers with an objective methodology to verify the level of conformance of an implementation for a given standard


Validation, Validate, Validating
The process necessary to perform conformance testing in accordance with a prescribed procedure and an official test suite.


W3C Recommendation
A standard agreed upon by the Web industry and community represented in W3C.
As defined in the XML recommendation, it's a textual object which obeys to the rules 2.1 of XML 1.0 recommendation.


Valid XHTML 1.0!

Created Date: 2002-01-28 by Karl Dubost
Last modified $Date: 2005/04/28 11:18:08 $ by $Author: dom $

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