4. Conformance

This section defines conformance of Working Group specifications — i.e., technical reports — to the requirements of this QA Framework guidelines specification. The requirements of this guidelines specification are detailed in the checkpoints of the preceding "Guidelines" chapter, and apply to the technical reports produced by Working Groups.

4.1. Normative parts

The following parts ofthis document are normative:

Text that is designated as normative is directly applicable to achieving conformance to this document. Informative parts of this document consist of examples, extended explanations, terminology, and other matter that contains information that should be understood for proper implementation of this document.

4.2. Extensibility

This specification is extensible. That is, adding conformance related information and structure to the document in ways beyond what is presented in this specification is allowed and encouraged. Extensions to this specification MUST not contradict nor negate the requirements of this specification (see also the checkpoint about not contradicting a specification through extensions).

The rationale for allowing Working Groups to define extensions to these specficiation guidelines is that these requirements are considered to be the minimal requirements for writing testable technical reports. Doing more than the minumum is not only acceptable, but beneficial. Extensions also allow Working Groups to tailor their specifications more closely to the technology and their specific needs.

4.3. Conformance requirements and test assertions

Within each prioritized checkpoint there is at least one conformance requirement.These are prefaced by "Conformance requirements" and highlighted in a different style. This Specification Guidelines enumerates a normative list of test assertions [QA-TA], which were derived from each MUST requirement.

4.4. Conformance definition

This section defines three degrees of conformance to this guidelines specification:

A checkpoint is satisfied by fulfilling all of the mandatory conformance requirements. Mandatory requirements are those that use the conformance keywords "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", or "SHALL NOT".

Note that it is allowed (even encouraged) to implement checkpoints in addition to those required to satisfy a particular degree of conformance (A, AA, or AAA). The more checkpoints that are satisfied, the better. However, there is no additional conformance designation for such intermediate collections of checkpoints (i.e., for all checkpoints of a given level plus some, but not all, of the checkpoints of the next levels).

The minimum recommended conformance to this specification is A-conforming -- all Priority 1 (critical/essential) checkpoints satisfied.

4.5. Conformance claims

A specification conforms to the QA Framework: Specification Guidelines at degree X (A, AA, or AAA) if the Working Group meets at least all degree X conformance requirements.

An assertion of conformance to this specification -- i.e., a conformance claim -- MUST specify:


On 22 September 2003, W3C's QA Framework: Operational Guidelines (http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/CR-qaframe-ops-20030922), dated 22 September 2003 conforms to W3C's QA Framework: Specification Guidelines, available at http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/WD-qaframe-spec-20030912/, Conformance level AA.

The checklist for this specification ([SPEC-ICS]) is the Implementation Conformance Statement (ICS) pro forma for this specification. Any assertion of conformance to this specification MUST link to a completed ICS.

4.6. Conformance disclaimer

The checkpoints of this guidelines specification present verifiable conformance requirements about the specifications (technical reports) that Working Groups produce. As with any verifiable conformance requirements, users should be aware that:

Passing all of the requirements to achieve a given degree of conformance — A, AA, or AAA — does not guarantee that the subject specification is well-suited to or will achieve its intended purposes, nor does it guarantee the quality or suitability of test materials produced from the specification.