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Subject: RE: [emergency-msg] RE: EDXL-HAVE - Conformance Statement

Thanks, Carl.  Very interesting information.
For our OASIS work, I recommend that we use the term "conformance" rather
than "compliance", for the two following reasons:
- the draft "OASIS Guidelines to Writing Conformance Requirements for OASIS
Specifications" use the term "conformance";
- the ISO/IEC JTC 1 Directives use the term "conformity".
Specifically, the ISO/IEC JTC 1 Directives define "compliance" as:
"adherence to those requirements contained in standards and technical
reports which specify requirements to be fulfilled by other standards,
technical reports or ISPs (e.g. reference models and methodologies)."
and they define "conformity" as:
"fulfilment by a product, process or service of specified requirements"
In other words, in ISO, "compliance" means roughly "conformity of an ISO
standard to another ISO standard that specifies how to write certain types
of ISO standards".  The phrase "conformity assessment" occurs lots of times
in the ISO/IEC Directives as well as in the ISO/IEC JTC 1 Directives.
"Conformance assessment" and "conformance testing" is used in some ISO
For example, in ISO words, we might say that an OASIS standard "complies" to
the OASIS Guidelines on Conformance if it is written in such a way that it
obeys those guidelines.


From: Carl Reed OGC Account [mailto:creed@opengeospatial.org] 
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2007 08:52
To: Alessandro Triglia; 'Elysa Jones'; 'Rex Brooks'; 'Dwarkanath, Sukumar'
Cc: 'Michelle Raymond'; emergency-msg@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: Re: [emergency-msg] RE: EDXL-HAVE - Conformance Statement

Elysa suggested I provide some thoughts regarding conformance clauses and
standards. By way of background, the OGC has had compliance testing for a
number of our standards for many years. We have recently upgraded the
compliance testing engine (open source) and our members have developed a
Compliance Assertion Language (more on this later). We have recently added
tests for 6 existing OGC standards and some profiles of those standards,
such as GeoRSS GML.
Notice we use the word "compliance". We spend weeks arguing whether we
should have "conformance" testing or "compliance" testing. Turns out that
there are very specific semantics associated with the use of those words in
the context of testing a standard or a profile of a standard as to whether
it meets the mandatory elements of the given standard. I should also point
out that there is a big difference between compliance testing and
interoperability testing. Just because an implementation of a standard has
tested to be compliant does not guarantee interoperability - it only
increases the probability of interoperability.
Anyway, we have a "standard" document template for all OGC web service
standards. Annex A is a normative section for describing the abstract
conformance clauses - what we call the Abstract Test Suite. From that

In each Implementation Specification document, Annex A shall specify the
Abstract Test Suite, as specified in Clause 9 and Annex A of ISO 19105. That
Clause and Annex specify the ISO/TC 211 requirements for Abstract Test
Suites. Examples of Abstract Test Suites are available in an annex of most
ISO 191XX documents. Note that this guidance may be more abstract than
needed in an OpenGIS(r) Implementation Specification.

The actual ISO document (attached) that provides guidance on how to specify
an ATS is useful but perhaps more detailed than necessary for use with many
interface and encoding standards. 

Now, in practical terms what this all means is that when a group is crafting
an interface or encoding standard, such as HAVE, one has to be very careful
about the proper use of the terms "MUST", "SHALL", etc. Why? Because the ATS
(conformance classes) are based on all the mandatory elements of the

Now, why have an ATS? Well, the team in the OGC that builds compliance tests
uses the ATS to define the testable assertions that are then documented
using the compliance assertion language that our compliance test engine then
uses to test any instance of an implementation of that standard. If the
implementation being tested passes all of the assertions, which as based on
the ATS, then the implementation is deemed compliant.

So, in terms of Alessandro's email, the ATS is by definition abstract.
Further, definition of the conformance classes in the ATS is totally
application independent. The OGC Compliance Testing capability is accessible
from http://www.opengeospatial.org/compliance .

Hope this helps.




----- Original Message ----- 

From: Alessandro Triglia <mailto:sandro@oss.com>  
To: 'Elysa Jones' <mailto:ejones@warningsystems.com>  ; 'Rex Brooks'
<mailto:rexb@starbourne.com>  ; 'Dwarkanath, Sukumar'
Cc: 'Michelle Raymond' <mailto:michellearaymond@gmail.com>  ;
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2007 11:05 AM
Subject: RE: [emergency-msg] RE: EDXL-HAVE - Conformance Statement

With regard to identifying conformance targets, I think the best approach is
to identify a minimal set of suitable abstractions for them.  In other
words, I think we should not think of a conformance target as being one
particular category of real-world users (of which there could be many and
hard to distinguish), but more in terms of broad (abstract) roles in the use
of the standard.   I don't know if "hospital" is a good conformance
target--it **may** be, given that the standard is about hospital
availability, and so I have no objections (in principle) to specifying
"hospital" as one of the conformance targets.  I just think we should think
in abstract terms (perhaps we are doing that already, in which case this
email of mine is not saying anything new...).


From: Elysa Jones [mailto:ejones@warningsystems.com] 
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2007 11:18
To: Rex Brooks; Dwarkanath, Sukumar
Cc: Michelle Raymond; emergency-msg@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [emergency-msg] RE: EDXL-HAVE - Conformance Statement

I agree with the approach.  Who is taking the lead? Elysa

At 07:55 AM 9/7/2007, Rex Brooks wrote:

Hi Elysa, Michelle,Sukumar,

Alessandro posted a couple of notes on this, with some urls for WS-I*
documents that deal with this.

Given what Mary said, I think we would be well advised to think through this
issue in terms of:

1-identifying conformance targets, possibly IMO including hospitals
themselves as well as implementations and tools;
2-using the detailed approach Michelle suggested in Tuesday's meeting which
focuses in on specific "combinations" of MUST conformance statements with
some optional SHOULD statements where to be completely conformant for
specific purposes, such as infectious disease, mass casualties or emergency
relief specific sets of MUST abd SHOULD statements must be implemented as

I've given it quite a bit of thought and I think Mary is correct. If we
don't do this now, we may end up needing to do it later followed by another
full 60-Day Review, so it is better to dig into this now and get ti right.

For the EM-Msg SC: We face the same argument for EDXL-RM with different
conformance targets and details. I will bring it up in today's meeting, but
I don't want to spend a lot of time on it. I just want people to understand
that the issue is there, and we need to add it to the face-to-face agenda.


At 8:29 PM -0500 9/6/07, Elysa Jones wrote:

We discussed it quite a bit.  Liked the idea of something not too detailed
and thought we would run it by Mary.  That didn't go well per her note below
and as far as I know there has been little discussion since. Elysa

At 08:27 PM 9/6/2007, Dwarkanath, Sukumar wrote:

Was any decision made re this, or did you get a chance to discuss this?


From: Mary McRae [ mailto:marypmcrae@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Mary McRae
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2007 2:01 PM
To: 'Elysa Jones'
Cc: Dwarkanath, Sukumar; 'Rex Brooks'; 'Michelle Raymond'
Subject: RE: EDXL-HAVE - Conformance Statement
While it probably meets the "letter of the law", I'm not quite sure what
"supports" really means and how someone would be able to determine whether
or not their application truly conforms. I remember an earlier concern
around CAP - someone stating that they implemented/were using CAP but they
didn't allow for one or more of the optional elements. The TC felt strongly
that the implementation should not be able to say that it conformed to CAP.
You want to make sure that the conformance statement covers exactly what it
means to say your application conforms to the EDXL-HAVE specification,
including specific references to other specifications and their versions as
appropriate. I saw a mention of doing something really simple this time
around and then working on it later, but that will then force another public
review round. As always, I urge the TC to take the time to "get it right"
Of course the decision is up to the TC; as long as the conformance section
meets the basic requirement I have no reason to hold it back.
All the best,
From: Elysa Jones [ mailto:ejones@warningsystems.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2007 12:46 PM
To: Mary McRae
Cc: Dwarkanath, Sukumar; Rex Brooks; Michelle Raymond
Subject: EDXL-HAVE - Conformance Statement
Can you tell us if the following is sufficient for EDXL-HAVE conformance
section?  Elysa


An implementation is a conforming EDXL-HAVE if the implementation meets the
conditions in Section 4.1.


1.         Supports the use of EDXL-DE, or a similar distribution element

2.         Supports the syntax and semantics in the Data Dictionary (Sec

3.         Supports the defined EDXL-HAVE schema (attached artifact)
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Rex Brooks
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Starbourne Communications Design
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Tel: 510-898-0670

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