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Subject: RE: [ebxml-msg] Issue 15: Use of the word OPTIONAL

Title: RE: [ebxml-msg] Issue 15: Use of the word OPTIONAL

I must chime in with Chris, regarding the overuse of OPTIONAL keyword,
many occurrences of which are not relevant anymore to the intended meaning in 1.1.1 ([RFC2119]).
We in IIC TC have long ago mentioned this as misleading for implementors
(who may consider as optional the processing of "optional" sections in a message.)

However, I believe the third bullet item in Section 1.3 (conformance requirements)
takes care of this for now:

".      It complies with the following interpretation of the keywords OPTIONAL and MAY: 
When these keywords apply to the behavior of the implementation, the implementation
is free to support these behaviors or not, as meant in [RFC2119]. 
When these keywords apply to message contents relevant to a module of features,
a conforming implementation of such a module MUST be capable of processing
these optional message contents according to the described ebXML semantics."

But it would certainly be better if such interpretation notice was moved up to
1.1.1 - in case we decide to keep the current usage of OPTIONAL - so that there
is no ambiguity about its interpretation.


-----Original Message-----
From: Doug Bunting [mailto:dougb62@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2002 2:09 PM
To: ebXML
Subject: [ebxml-msg] Issue 15: Use of the word OPTIONAL

David has disagreed with Chris' statement that OPTIONAL is misused (according
to 2119) in a number of contexts.  The basic issue here is a conflict between
something that may or may not appear in an instance of an ebXML message and
something that must or may be implemented by a compliant ebMS system.  In the
specified uses of the word OPTIONAL, the first is meant but our document
conventions (section 1.1.1) restricts us to using OPTIONAL only when the
second is intended.  I would strongly recommend making the change Chris


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