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Subject: Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] (1)(d) A list of deliverables, with projected completion dates.
Correct. A profile defines conformance, just like any other standard. And this conformance could be tested.
> If we can define a profile then presumably we can define a test to
> verify conformance with that profile? For ease of use and
> maintenance said test could be made available online (eg via web submission).
In standardization, a profile consists of an agreed-upon subset and interpretation of a specification. Many complex technical specifications have many optional features, such that two conforming implementations may not inter-operate due to choosing different sets of optional features to support. Even when no formal optional features exist within a standard, vendors will often fail to implement (or fail to implement correctly) functionality from the standard which they view as unimportant. In particular, implementations of standards on mobile devices often have significant limitations compared to their traditional desktop implementations, even if the standard which governs both permits such limitations. Also, some writers of standards sometimes produce vague or ambiguous specifications, often unintentionally, but sometimes by intention. The use of profiles can enforce one possible interpretation.
Users can utilize profiles to ensure interoperability, and in procurement.
In some cases, profiles themselves can become standardised: for example, US-GOSIP, UK-GOSIP and the ISO ISP (International Standard Profile) series in the context of OSI networking, and the various mobile profiles adopted by the W3C for web standards.
We should probably make it clear it the scope statement that we're not just doing conformance testing of the ODF standard, but also of any profiles that we produce.