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Subject: Testing of RNG / DTD / XSD

Subject: Testing of RNG / DTD / XSD
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:25:53 -0500
From: Robert D Anderson <robander@us.ibm.com>
To: Eliot Kimber <ekimber@rsicms.com>, chris.nitchie@oberontech.com, dhelfinstine@ptc.com, Scott Hudson <scott.hudson@schneider-electric.com>
CC: Kristen James Eberlein <kris@eberleinconsulting.com>, Eric Sirois <esirois@ca.ibm.com>

I was supposed to start this thread last week but fell down on that. Better late than never.

We need to discuss how we want to handle testing of the RNG -- what policy do we want to have in place, who is doing the work, and (if needed) how can that work be repeated by others. I think it's important that whatever our Official Process becomes, anybody should be able to set it up and repeat it with minimal work. That was not the case with DITA 1.2, where everything relied on a long series of tools and scripts on my own system.

High points - here are the things I did while testing with 1.2:
* Kept an XML rendering of each doctype
* For each new feature:
** Integrate the new change
** Verify that the DTD still parsed (run through my generally very picky Omnimark parser, open in a validating editor)
** Verify that the desired new markup was there
** Regenerate the XML version of the DTD, and do a diff to ensure no unintended changes
* Repeat for each new feature

For 1.3 I think Eliot has already been doing some of this - validating with parsers, and ensuring that the new markup is available.

Do we want to keep up the "make sure no unintended consequences" test, and if so, how? I think this is much more difficult with doctypes that are already essentially complete (it's easiest when checking as each feature is added).

Do we have tools that can do other DITA based validation -- ensure that the specialization is correct, maybe catch a Learning and Training element that has an incorrectly constructed class attribute, etc?

Who here wants to sign up for testing of RNG, DTD, or XSD? We don't want to be wasting time, but it might be a good thing if we're doing some of this testing with different parsers, for example -- I've found things in the past that opened OK in Arbortext, while Omnimark threw out an error, or vice versa.


Robert D Anderson
IBM Authoring Tools Development
Chief Architect, DITA Open Toolkit (http://dita-ot.sourceforge.net/)

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