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   Re: [xml-dev] Getting specs/standards right (was UPA and schema handling

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On Mon, 18 Oct 2004 09:31:01 -0400, Liam Quin <liam@w3.org> wrote:
> I think it would be unfair to say that electrical specifications are
> never influenced by politics, nor that committees are never involved.
> Note also that SGML and ODA both came out of ISO,

Fair enough -- I'm not talking about ISO vs W3C as organizations, but
about "standards" that are spec'd tightly enough and based upon enough
real knowledge to be enforceable, and "recommendations" that are joint
design efforts that are likely to be looser and more speculative.  I
agree that in the real world there are politics behind both standards
and recommendations.

> I'd like to see some form of conformance testing for XML software.

That gets to the nub of my issue: conformance testing for
speculative/loosely specified reccomendations seems a bit pointless to
me.  To stick my neck out, I'd argue that it would not be a good
investment of time for the XQuery WG to write rigorous conformance
tests until it is much more clear which parts of the spec  can be
effectively implemented in which types of software, which will be
widely supported in ways where real people will expect
interoperability, which  are actually put to use in mission-critical
infrastructure and applications, etc.  In other words, XQuery needs to
earn its keep as a Recommendation before one worries too much about it
as a Standard.  XML 1.x and Schema are obviously in a different
position, but again I suspect that both need refinement more urgently
than enforcement ... or perhaps the conformance testing should focus
on a de facto interoperability profile rather than the complete

> I don't think it's something W3C has the resouces to do right now,

As much as I amd sure it would pain the W3C :-) maybe what's needed is
an XML Interoperability Organization modeled on WS-I to do the
profiling and conformance test building.


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