#548 use of modal verbs in Guidelines

AMBER
pending-later
Kevin Hawkins
None
1(low)
2014-05-10
2013-04-08
Kevin Hawkins
No

Lou noted at https://sourceforge.net/p/tei/bugs/287/#c52c that we commonly use "should" for things that are "highly recommended/mandatory". First of all, I find "highly recommended" and "mandatory" to be quite different things: in my opinion, if you go against a practice, the former would still validate according to a schema, whereas the latter would not.

But more to the point, I think we should fully embrace the use of modal verbs and constructions as in BCP 14: http://tools.ietf.org/html/bcp14

This means searching through the Guidelines for modal verbs and constructions, reading each one in context, and determining whether to fix it. A huge project.

If we accept this, we should add a reference to this RFC document to http://www.tei-c.org/Activities/Council/Working/tcw24.xml .

Discussion

  • Kevin Hawkins
    Kevin Hawkins
    2013-04-12

    Council decided that Kevin will add the reference to the RFC in tcw24 and fix the usage at https://sourceforge.net/p/tei/bugs/287/#c52c . I will also check for passage in the introduction to the Guidelines on "how to read these Guidelines" and add a link to the RFC there as well.

     
  • Kevin Hawkins
    Kevin Hawkins
    2013-04-12

    • assigned_to: Kevin Hawkins
     
  • Kevin Hawkins
    Kevin Hawkins
    2013-09-02

    Implemented main changes at http://sourceforge.net/p/tei/code/12525/ , linking to BCP 14 (the stable identifier) instead of RFC 2119 (which could be superseded). Still need to scour the Guidelines for modal constructions to verify that they conform to BCP 14.

     
  • Kevin Hawkins
    Kevin Hawkins
    2013-09-02

    • status: open --> pending-later
    • Priority: 5 --> 1(low)
     
  • Kevin Hawkins
    Kevin Hawkins
    2013-11-12

    There's a typo in what I introduced in r12525.

     
  • Lou Burnard
    Lou Burnard
    2014-01-05

    Commented out that paragraph for now. It doesn't seem useful, certainly at this point in the chapter. The Guidelines don't use modal verbs as precisely as IETF specifications, as the rest of the lengthy discussion in this chapter surely makes clear.

     
  • Kevin Hawkins
    Kevin Hawkins
    2014-05-10

    • Description has changed:

    Diff:

    --- old
    +++ new
    @@ -1,4 +1,4 @@
    -Lou noted at https://sourceforge.net/p/tei/bugs/287/#c52c that we commonly use "should" for things that are "highly recommended/mandatory".  First of all, I find "highly recommended" and "mandatory" to be quite different things: if you go against the practice, the former still validates according to a schema, whereas the latter does not.
    +Lou noted at https://sourceforge.net/p/tei/bugs/287/#c52c that we commonly use "should" for things that are "highly recommended/mandatory".  First of all, I find "highly recommended" and "mandatory" to be quite different things: in my opinion, if you go against a practice, the former would still validate according to a schema, whereas the latter would not.
    
     But more to the point, I think we should fully embrace the use of modal verbs and constructions as in RFC 2119:
    
     
  • Kevin Hawkins
    Kevin Hawkins
    2014-05-10

    • Description has changed:

    Diff:

    --- old
    +++ new
    @@ -1,8 +1,6 @@
     Lou noted at https://sourceforge.net/p/tei/bugs/287/#c52c that we commonly use "should" for things that are "highly recommended/mandatory".  First of all, I find "highly recommended" and "mandatory" to be quite different things: in my opinion, if you go against a practice, the former would still validate according to a schema, whereas the latter would not.
    
    -But more to the point, I think we should fully embrace the use of modal verbs and constructions as in RFC 2119:
    -
    -http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2119.txt
    +But more to the point, I think we should fully embrace the use of modal verbs and constructions as in BCP 14: http://tools.ietf.org/html/bcp14
    
     This means searching through the Guidelines for modal verbs and constructions, reading each one in context, and determining whether to fix it.  A huge project.
    
     
  • Kevin Hawkins
    Kevin Hawkins
    2014-05-10

    Since #ABTEI2 says "very few features are mandatory", chapter AB already allows that there are mandatory things in the Guidelines. The goal of my paragraph inserted into AB at http://sourceforge.net/p/tei/code/12525/ was to give a disclaimer that there are in fact instances in the Guidelines where we have written "should" for something is mandatory, despite what I (and I imagine others) would have expected even if we had never read RFC 2119. This seems to me like a useful statement to have, even if it's something that we would eventually remove once we clean things up.

    Despite the agreement of Council in April 2013, should we leave out the paragraph in chapter AB and just trust that users will figure things out if they disregard a "should" statement but find that their document doesn't validate?