5. Definitions

This section contains terms used in this specification, with functional or contextual definitions appropriate for this specification. See also [QA-GLOSSARY]. Some terms in this section have been borrowed or adapted from other specifications.

class of product
the generic name for the group of products that would implement, for the same purpose, the specification, (i.e., target of the specification). The class of product is the object of the conformance claim. A specification may identify several classes of products.
conformance clause
a part or collection of parts of a specification that defines the requirements, criteria, or conditions to be satisfied by an implementation or application in order to claim conformance.
conformance level
a variety of conformance designation. Other designations include conformance category, conformance degree, conformance xxx. "Conformance level" is discouraged in new specifications, because of confusion with "functional level".
conformance requirement
a condition for conformance of an implementation to a specification. Conformance requirements can have different levels of necessity: mandatory, recommended, or optional.
an existing feature that has become outdated by a newer construct or is no longer viable. Deprecated features should be avoided, since they may be removed in some future version.
derived profile
a profile that is created from a set of profile rules, where these profile rules provide instructions for building profiles (i.e., defining profiles) and the rules are defined in a specification.
dimensions of variability (DoV)
the ways in which different products that are conformant to a specification may vary among themselves. In this Specification Guidelines document, the dimensions of variability are used to help organize, classify and assess the conformance characteristics of W3C specifications.
discretionary items
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.
functional level
a technology subset that is one of a hierarchy of nested subsets, ranging from minimal or core functionality to full or complete functionally.
implementation conformance statement (ICS)
a mechanism for providing standardized information about an implementation of a specification, usually in the form of a questionnaire in which product implementers report the product's conformance to the specification. An ICS is used to indicate which requirements, capabilities, and options have and have not been implemented.
informative text
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 commonly used shorthand for functional level.
a collection of semantically-related elements, attributes, and attribute values that represents a unit of functionality. Modules are non-hierarchical, discrete divisions that are defined in coherent sets.
normative text
text in a specification which is prescriptive or contains conformance requirements.
feature that is no longer defined in the specification. A feature is often deprecated before becoming obsolete.
a subset of a technology that is tailored to meet specific functional requirements of a particular application community. A profile may address a single technology; or, a profile can also group a set of technologies (i.e., from different specifications) and define how they operate together. Profiles may be based on hardware considerations associated with target product classes, or they may be driven by other functional requirements of their target communities.
a method for defining subsets of a technology by identifying the functionality, parameters, options, and/or implementation requirements necessary to satisfy the requirements of a particular community of users.
specification category
the generic name for the type of specification and the technology it describes.
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).
test assertion
a statement of behavior, action, or condition that can be measured or tested. It is derived from the specification's requirements and provides a normative foundation from which test cases can be built. (See also QA Glossary [QA-GLOSSARY].)
use case
a specification mechanism or technique that captures the ways a specification would be used, including the set of interactions between the user and the specification as well as the services, tasks, and functions the specification is required to perform.