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Subject: RE: Keep It Simple: some options

Maybe the following is agreeable for a charter draft?

1. First the TC would develop an abstract structure for a test
   assertion (TA). Back on December 3rd, I sent an example that defined
   three components of a TA: multiple contingencies, one stimulus, and
   one result. I just made that up to show that components are not
   necessarily complex and scary. After having defined components,
   publsihing them with a Request For Comments or doing some form of
   outreach would be appropriate, but I hesitate to call this a
   "deliverable" of the TC.
2. After getting some feedback on the abstract structure, the TC
   would issue a document that describes how the structure could be
   manifest as English sentences. This would be a deliverable.
3. Either simultaneously with (2) or after, the TC would issue a
   document that specifies an XML notation for the same structure.
   Among the requirements would be a simple identifier attribute for
   each and every TA that allows citation of individual TAs.
Either (2) or (3) would also provide the desirable qualities of any
"fixed wording" parts, which use wording specific to the domain of the
spec. In other words, a set of TAs should share domain-specific words
(especially nouns and adjectives) among the TAs in such a way that
similarities and dependencies are visible.

Patrick Curran wrote:
>If the TC achieved no more than this (encouraging spec authors to
>create test assertions and defining a simple markup) I would be
>very pleased.

I say that if the expectations are too low, we could avoid having a
TC and just discuss this on a Wiki, then issue something that
resembles a W3C Note. I was talking with OASIS staffer Mary McRae
last night at the XML 2006 conference, and she said OASIS is now
favoring TCs with small sets of deliverables, but I think there is
such a thing as too small. I think producing XML that divides the
assertion element into components of some kind is a bare minimum to
justify forming a TC.
.................David Marston

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