And of course there has to be a slightly different International Standard
for these terms and their usage in standards documents: ISO/IEC Directives.
So, the OGC had to make a policy statement on this subject so we had OGC
community agreement on these terms. (01)
ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2: Rules for the structure and drafting of
International Standards (02)
1. SHALL - verb form used to indicate a requirement to be strictly
followed to conform to this standard, from which no deviation is permitted (03)
2. SHOULD - verb form used to indicate desirable ability or use,
without mentioning or excluding other possibilities (04)
3. MAY - verb form used to indicate an action permissible within the
limits of this standard (05)
4. CAN - verb form used for statements of possibility (06)
5. INFORMATIVE - a part of a document that is provided for explanation,
but is not required (07)
6. NORMATIVE - a part of a standards document that is required (08)
Note: Other standards organizations also use the term "MUST". For the work
of the OGC, the term MUST is equivalent to the term SHALL. Also, when the
term "SHALL" is used in an OGC document, it shall be capitalized (09)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joel Bender" <jjb5@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2009 2:01 PM
Subject: [ontolog-forum] Guidelines for Standards Developers (012)
> This is a text version of my comment during today's conference call...
> I would like to provide guidelines to standards developers that are not
> familiar with ontology development or formalized taxonomies. For
> example, a wide variety of standards have referenced RFC2119 for the use
> of terms such as MUST.
> I know this is in the realm of mereology and mereotopology, but if I
> dare mention those words to specialist in air conditioning, their eyes
> will glaze over.
> Perhaps a web form where someone enters two nouns, 'snarf' and 'blat'.
> Then the system asks a series of questions like "If snarf is a part of
> blat, and you take away the snarf, would the blat be a blat anymore?"
> The answer drives them to use a specific label (maybe even a URI) for
> that relationship. It could even provide feedback on why other similar
> labels are not appropriate.
> Agreeing to standardize on the RFC definition of terms like MUST is a
> relatively small (but necessary) step for a standards committee. Coming
> to a consensus on the specific label to put on a relationship could be
> quite a task. Programmer/analysts that work with customers on getting
> their sign-off on a UML diagram for their system see this all the time.
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