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Subject: Re: [ebxml-msg] FW: some problems with MAY?

The word MAY MUST NOT be used in discussing alternatives. I agree with
Jacques Durand's comments.  Thhe word OPTIONAL MUST also be avoided.
RFC2119 (which we all claim to conform to) defines MAY and OPTIONAL as
something that is optional for implementers.  I believe that MAY/SHOULD or
MAY/MUST is still potentially confusing.

THE CPP-CPA specification has a paragraph directly below the RFC2119
declaration that attempts to clarify things with regard to elements and
attributes that are "optional".

In discussing elements or attributes that are sometimes used and sometimes
not, the CPPA team adopted the convention of using the DTD type keyword or
explicitly stating the cardinality (0 or 1, 0 or more) rather than saying

Except where something IS optional for implementers, we should  completely
avoid the word MAY.  In some of Jacques' examples, the word "might" could
safely be substituted for MAY.

Anyone who has not read RFC2119 should read it.  It's a very short



Martin W. Sachs
IBM T. J. Watson Research Center
P. O. B. 704
Yorktown Hts, NY 10598
914-784-7287;  IBM tie line 863-7287
Notes address:  Martin W Sachs/Watson/IBM
Internet address:  mwsachs @ us.ibm.com

David Fischer <david@drummondgroup.com> on 10/31/2001 09:05:38 AM

To:    ebXML Msg <ebxml-msg@lists.oasis-open.org>
Subject:    [ebxml-msg] FW: some problems with MAY?

Attached are some comments about our use of MAY.


David Fischer
Drummond Group.

-----Original Message-----
From: jacques [mailto:jacques@savvion.com]
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2001 12:42 AM
To: David Fischer
Subject: some problems with MAY?


This is just something I noticed when going through MS 1.05, and that
I think could be ambiguous for some developers.

- Jacques Durand

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