This is an archived snapshot of W3C's public bugzilla bug tracker, decommissioned in April 2019. Please see the home page for more details.

Bug 4651 - Definition of 'consumer' needs clarification
Summary: Definition of 'consumer' needs clarification
Alias: None
Product: SML
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Interchange Format (show other bugs)
Version: FPWD
Hardware: Macintosh All
: P1 normal
Target Milestone: Second draft
Assignee: Virginia Smith
QA Contact: SML Working Group discussion list
Keywords: resolved
Depends on:
Reported: 2007-06-13 20:44 UTC by C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
Modified: 2007-08-23 08:00 UTC (History)
1 user (show)

See Also:


Description C. M. Sperberg-McQueen 2007-06-13 20:44:09 UTC
The definition of 'consumer' in section 3.1 troubles some WG members,
in particular the verb "understands".  

In discussion during the ftf, various alternatives were proposed;
what is the right way to distinguish consumers as described here
from other processes or agents which might encounter an SML-IF
message?  Are consumers processes which understand the model? (and
if so, what does "understand" mean?)  Are they processes which 
"act on" the model (as opposed to the surface artifacts of
serialization)?  Are they processes which validate the model?  (There
seemed to be consensus that validation is NOT the right touchstone.)

Further discussion of this concept is needed to reach agreement on what
we want as a WG, in addition to whatever editorial effort is needed to
capture that intent accurately and cleanly.
Comment 1 C. M. Sperberg-McQueen 2007-06-13 22:43:41 UTC
In addition to the specific issue of the definition of 'consumer', the
passage in question (and others) raise the related (and intertwined)
question "What is it that consumers DO with SML-IF documents?"  The current
text says in various places that the consumer "understands" the document;
this troubles enough of the WG that we should try to find some other verb
that carries the right denotation and connotation and lacks the problems
of "understanding".
Comment 2 C. M. Sperberg-McQueen 2007-08-02 19:56:01 UTC
    The current editors' draft of SML-IF has an improvement on the old
    wording, but I have one further suggestion.  In the paragraph which now

        A program is a conforming SML-IF Consumer if it processes a conforming 
        SML-IF Document using, in whole or part, semantics defined by this 
        specification. A conforming SML-IF Consumer is not required to 
        process all elements defined in this specification, but any element 
        processed must be processed as defined here. 

    perhaps the last words should be changed to something like "must be
    processed in ways consistent with the semantics defined here", to 
    avoid possible confusion over the fact that many useful consumers will
    perform application- or domain-specific processing which goes behond
    what is defined here.  The editors may be able to find better words.

Comment 3 Virginia Smith 2007-08-23 08:00:25 UTC
Changed text as suggested to:
A conforming SML-IF Consumer is not required to process all elements defined in this specification, but any element that is processed must be processed in a manner that is consistent with the semantics defined here.