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Re: [xml-dev] Does the W3C allow "reference implementations"?

The problem with reference implementations is well-illustrated by the 
history of JAXP (specifically the transformation and XPath parts). This 
interface has always been very poorly specified. There is a long history 
of changes being made to the JAXP specification to align it with the 
Xalan implementation. In some cases, this has amounted to little more 
than documenting Xalan bugs as part of the specification. For those who 
provide alternative implementations, like myself, this means constant 
chasing of a moving spec (or in some cases, a decision not to remain 
bug-compatible). For users, it creates confusion as to what 
interoperability they can expect - can they expect, for example, that 
when Xalan reports a particular error to the fatalError() callback on 
the ErrorListener, then Saxon will do the same, even though there is 
nothing in the written specification that says it must?

Michael Kay

On 24/11/2010 13:29, Costello, Roger L. wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> I just read this:
>      ISO officially does not allow reference implementations
> Here's where I read it:
>      http://www.schematron.com/implementation.html
> See the 2nd sentence of the 2nd paragraph.
> The author of that web page is Rick Jelliffe, who is the author of several ISO standards.
> This got me wondering, "Does the W3C allow reference implementations?"
> I know that the W3C requires a specification have a certain number of implementations before the specification can become a full Recommendation. Does the W3C consider them to be "reference implementations"?
> What is the rationale for not allowing reference implementations?
> /Roger
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