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Re: XML 1.0 Conformance Test Results

Gary Stephenson wrote:
> their hands in the real world of implementation.  IMHO it would be much better
> if the W3C ditched the idea of "specs" altogether in favour of  "test suites".
> The spec would then effectively just be a narrative on the test suite, and
> there could be far less room for misinterpretation and wasted effort.  

I agree that test suites are important, which is why I think your
suggestion interesting enough to worry about. I see a couple of problems
with it:

[1] If the W3C published test suites instead of specs, errors in the
test suite would become part of the spec, wouldn't they? I think this
idea has many of the same attractions and pitfalls as saying "let's
forget about defining justice and just define laws" - how can you then
argue a need for any new or changed law?

[2] Specs precede implementation better than test packs do - it is
easier to define a complete spec than it is to define a complete test
suite, and many test questions cannot reasonably be anticipated unless
you make assumptions about how the application will be implemented.