Subject: Re: [office] Another view on conformance?
Dave Pawson <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote on 02/28/2009 02:59:25 AM: > > http://tr.im/gRUC > > Rick Jelliffe on Conformance, with a view on ODF. > including: > <quote>Conformance is hard. ISO standards have a constraint that only > "verifiable" statements can be made in normative text: no airy fairy > fluff. And I certainly belong to the camp that says that the clauses > in IT standards (in particular document standards) should not only be > "verifiable" but that they should be objectively and automatically > verifiable in standard ways. </quote> > Certainly no disagreement with that. Normative statements must be testable. And given a choice between something that requires manual/human judgement to test and something that can be tested automatically, choose a formulation that can be automated. And given a choice between something that can be automated in a novel way (say an ad-hoc schema definition language) versus something that can be automated using an existing standard, e.g., a standardized schema definition language, then go with the standard technique. However, on the last point I think it is something we aspire to but not always achieve. For example, OpenFormula has a NOW() spreadsheet function that returns the current date and time. How, using standard techniques, does automate a test of that? RAND() returns a random number. Verifying correctness here is hard, even using non-traditional techniques. It is inherently a probabilistic statement, not something you can prove or disprove with absolute certainty. -Rob