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< Contents ERCIM News No. 63, October 2005

W3C's Specification Guidelines to Create Better Specifications

The W3C's Quality Assurance (QA) Working Group concluded its work in August 2005 with the completion of the Specification Guidelines W3C Recommendation, a document which provides clear instruction to writers and editors on creating implementable technical specifications. By identifying both requirements and 'good practices,' the Specification Guidelines help both W3C and other specification authors create and describe technologies in ways that make it easier for developers to implement them as intended.

W3C launched the Quality Assurance (QA) Activity in 2001 with the goal of improving W3C specifications by offering guidelines to W3C groups. Since that time, the QA Working Group produced six useful documents such as the QA Framework Primer, the QA Test FAQ, the Variability in Specifications Working Draft, and the QA Handbook. One of the group's more famous and useful documents is the W3C Quality Assurance Matrix, a list of over 100 W3C specifications, with links to conformance clauses, test suites and validators.

Quality Assurance at W3C:
Matrix of W3C specifications:
Quality Assurance at W3C:
QA Framework:
QA Primer:
Matrix of W3C specifications: