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Subject: Re: [oiic-formation-discuss] Informative clauses



Radoslav DejanoviŠ <radoslav.dejanovic@opsus.hr> wrote on 06/23/2008 08:05:06 AM:

> Dave Pawson wrote:
>
> > I think that is presumptive. It would misinterpret the standard?
> > If the author had wanted a shall or must surely he|she would
> > have put one in there?
>
> When I write (or read) documentation, I always presume that something
> should be done as it is written, unless there's a choice, but in that
> case the choice should be (and usually is) clearly described.
>
> For that reason I would say that it might be Ok to consider every place
> where there's no clear choice given - as mandatory, non-changeable item.
> After all, standards should be read and understood by engineers and
> developers who would like to have a clear picture of what they're
> supposed to do...
>

Let's take a fictional example that we can all understand.

I'm writing a standard for text format.  I want to define a way to indicate bold test.  I define it like this:

"The <bold> element is used to indicate bold test"

I think this is clear enough to implementors what is intended.  But from a formal perspective, I have not said "shall" or should or "must" or anything.

So a conformance test would not be able report an error for an application that failed to render bold text as bold.  Since the ODF standard defines conformance, any test of conformance must be traceable to what the ODF standard says.

However, in an interoperability test I think we can go beyond the limitations of conformance and test the runtime behavior of bold, asking questions such as:

1) Is bold text visible?
2) Is bold text distinguishable from non bold text?
3) Does bold text render with a heavier font weight than non bold text?

These are three reasonable tests.  Although the standard does not come out and say "Bold text shall not be rendered identically to non bold text", it is a reasonable and useful thing to test for, from an interoperability standpoint.

-Rob

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