One month on the QA mailing lists
April, 2003

About the "weekinqa" QA Mailing-lists monthly summary

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"WeekinQA" is a monthly (started bi-weekly, hence the name) summary of the main topics discussed on, the public mailing-list of W3C QA Interest Group and, the public mailing-list of W3C's QA Working Group.

The regular editor for "WeekinQA" 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

Terminology in SpecGL

In response to Last Call comments on Specification Guidelines, new definitions were added. Class of Product - the generic name for the group of products that would implement, for the same purposes, the specification. The class of products is the object of the conformance claim. A specification may have several classes of products. Specification category - the generic name for the type of specification and the technology it describes. In the SpecGL, these terms are used in determining "what needs to conform and how" (Guideline 2).

Concept section for SpecGL

To alleviate the confusion and improve clarity regarding "dimensions of variability" (DoV), a term introduced in the SpecGL, a new Concept section will be added to the Specification Guidelines. DOV are ways in which a specification allows for variaibility, for example, by allowing for profiles and/or extensions. This variability impacts conformance and ultimately interoperability. There are many ways that a specification may allow variation among conforming implemenations - the SpecGL identifies eight, (e.g., product classes, profiles, modules, levels, extensibility.) This section will provide an enhanced discussion on DoV in general and each of the eight, individual DoVs, including the differences between the various DoV and the relationships among them.

See Thread

RFC 2119 usage

The capitalization of RFC 2119 keywords (e.g., MUST, SHOULD) in a specification was discussed. According to the RFC 2119, they MUST only be used where it is actually required for interoperation or to limit behavior which has potential for causing harm. However, anecdotal evidence shows that there is a broad interpretation regarding interoperation (i.e., using these terms beyond the original communications and protocol orientation) and these capitalized keywords have been liberally used in specifications. It was agreed that (1) the SpecGL would not try to legislate correct use of these keywords. However, the Examples and Techniques document will mention that correct use guidance is given in FRC 2119 and link to it and (2) make the suggestion that it would be helpful to have a Note about the application and appropraite use of RFC 2119 keywords across the diverse specturm of W3C specifications . Such a Note could be written as a collaboration between QA WG and Comm.

See Thread

June F2F planned

The next WG face-to-face meeting is scheduled for 16-18 June 2003 in Crete, Greece. QA IG participants are wlecome to join, provided they contact the WG and IG chairs in advance. Information.

Meeting minutes

All meeting minutes are available at:

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Created Date: 2003-05-15 by Lynne Rosenthal
Last modified Date: 2003/05/15 by Lynne Rosenthal

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