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From "Benson Margulies" <bimargul...@apache.org>
Subject Compliance Suites
Date Sun, 30 Nov 2008 14:45:34 GMT
I thought it not unreasonable to frame a discussion about compliance
suites at a safe distance from either of the two recent threads that
raised the questions of additional storage media. I am intentionally
framing this in the space of philosophy rather than technology.

Upon carefully reading the W3C test suite license, which got me onto
this list in the first place, I discover the following motivation:

Step 1: Define a standard.
Step 2: Create a set of test cases that test compliance with the standard.
Step 3: Publish them for anyone to use to verify compliance.

In performing step 3, publishers of good 'open source' intentions
might find themselves in a dilemma. The test cases stop being test
cases as soon as someone modifies them (in ways that change their
semantics) outside of whatever formal process defines the standard. If
any vendor can modify them to make their product pass, well, then, all
bets are off.

W3C tries to address this with a license that restricts modification.
I suppose that the alternative would be to leave the license open but
attempt to restrict the ability of anyone to claim 'compliance' after
a modification.

Is the ASF's formal position that it opposes the former solution --
that a true 'open source' approach to the problem has to solve it some
other way?

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