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Archive for the ‘Conformance Checking’ Category

textContent Checking

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

I have added checking of the textContent of the meter, progress and t elements to the conformance checking service technology preview. The textContent is checked if meter or progress does not have an attribute called value or if t does not have an attribute called datetime.

I took liberties with date formats. Also, I am assuming that it is an error if the algorithm for finding a ratio fails.

I have also made the error messages prettier. Additionally, there is now a pseudo-schema called http://hsivonen.iki.fi/checkers/debug/ which dumps the parse events as warnings. (It makes the most sense when used as the first schema URI on the list of schema URIs.)

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Bug Fixes

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

Recently, I was informed that the XHTML5 facet of the (X)HTML5-specific interface was crashing due to a null dereference. When I fixed it, I somehow managed to disconnect the back end from the parser for the HTML5 facet. That one is now fixed, too.

On the generic side, the XSLT schema kept crashing the engine. The problem was infinite recursion in the JDK regular expression engine that caused the runtime stack to overflow. I have now changed the system so that regular expressions in the XSD datatype library for RELAX NG are backed by the Xerces 2 regular expression engine rather than the JDK regular expression engine.

The nice thing about a managed runtime is that stack overflows and null dereferences don’t bring the whole app down. In fact, they don’t even crash the thread; the front end can still show an error to the user. The problem is that previously the errors were logged to a file that I didn’t read until someone reported a problem and most of the time people don’t report the problems when they are told that the error was logged. Now the system sends me the stack trace by email if the back end crashes. (And I have fixed all known crashers in advertised features.)

I have also polished the Jing error messages a bit.

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Significant Inline Checking

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

The conformance checking service technology preview now can now check for the lack of significant inline content.

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Charmod Norm Checking

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

Charmod Norm is still in the Working Draft state, but if it were to become a normative part of (X)HTML5, it would belong to the area of the conformance checking service that I am working on now, so I prototyped Charmod Norm enforcement as well.

The checker outsources most work to ICU4J. Most complexity in my code is due to trying to avoid buffering as much as possible while still using the ICU4J API unmodified—and due to dealing with the halves of a surrogate pair falling into different UTF-16 code unit buffers. On the spec reading front, I couldn’t map “the second character in the canonical decomposition mapping of some character that is not listed in the Composition Exclusion Table defined in [UTR #15]” to the ICU4J API on my own. Fortunately, I got excellent help on the icu-support mailing list.

It turned out that the most time-consuming part was not writing the normalization checker but reworking how Ælfred2 deals with US-ASCII, ISO-8859-1, UTF-8, UTF-16 and UTF-32. In HS Ælfred2, all character encodings are now decoded using the java.nio.charset framework.

Requirements

The definition for Fully-normalized Text involves checking normalization before and after parsing. That is, the source text is required to be NFC-normalized and after parsing the constructs parsed out of the source are required to be NFC-normalized and are required not to start with a “composing character” (which is not exactly the same as a “combining character”).

I don’t really like the way the definition involves peeking underneath the parser, but it does have the benefit that if the source is in NFC, you won’t accidentally break the document by editing the source in an NFC-normalizing text editor.

Interpretation

Charmod Norm does not define what “constructs” are in the context of XML 1.0 or HTML5.

However, XML 1.1 does define what “relevant constructs” are, so that definition might be generalizable to XML 1.0 and HTML5. Unfortunately, XML 1.1 defines relevant constructs in terms of the grammar productions of XML itself instead of the significant information items that an XML processor reports to the application.

Personally, I think the XML 1.1 definition is neither practically useful nor something for which I’d be motivated to write an implementation. So for the purpose of prototyping, I made up a definition on my own. Web Applications 1.0 just might get away with making my definition normative for XHTML5 considering that XML 1.0 doesn’t have a definition.

I consider the SAX2 ContentHandler (excluding qNames) and DTDHandler benchmarks of cluefulness when it comes to XML-related spec, API and application design. In general, if your application isn’t an editor that needs to reconstruct the XML source from parsed data, your application is most likely broken if it needs to know something about an XML document being parsed that is not exposed through those two interfaces. On the other hand, a spec that can’t be conformed to by viewing XML through only those two interfaces is broken. Moreover, DTDHandler is about notations, which are pretty much obsolete, so that leaves only ContentHandler.

This gives the following definition of constructs:

Implementation

There is a new pseudo-schema called http://hsivonen.iki.fi/checkers/nfc/. It is enabled for all (X)HTML presets. When this pseudo-schema is in use or when the schema selection is in the automatic mode, the normalization checking of source text underneath the parser is enabled as well.

The following checks are made:

The version of Unicode that is used is 5.0.0.

The column and line numbers reported on errors are very inaccurate due to buffering.

I have not tested whether all the character encoding decoders that I have installed are normalizing transcoders. If you have Windows-1258 Vietnamese test cases, please try them out and let me know what happens. Also, please let me know if the issue applies to something other than legacy Vietnamese encodings.

As usual, the new code is enabled for testing. Please let me know if it doesn’t work as described.

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Charmod Checking

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

Web Forms 2.0 requires documents to conform to Charmod. The current Web Applications 1.0 draft does not mention Charmod, but since (X)HTML5 includes both Web Applications 1.0 and Web Forms 2.0, my working assumption is that (X)HTML5 documents are required to conform to Charmod.

It turns out that the best opportunity for checking whether a document conforms to Charmod is in the parser. Hence, I added the checks to my special-purpose HTML parser and to HS Ælfred2—my fork of GNU Ælfred2.

Charmod says:

NOTE: RFC 2119 makes it clear that requirements that use SHOULD are not optional and must be complied with unless there are specific reasons not to: “This word, or the adjective ‘RECOMMENDED’, mean that there may exist valid reasons in particular circumstances to ignore a particular item, but the full implications must be understood and carefully weighed before choosing a different course.”

Further, Charmod says: “A specification conforms to this document if it——documents the reason for any deviation from criteria where the imperative is SHOULD, SHOULD NOT, or RECOMMENDED——”. I have an implementation, but I’m documenting my decisions not to enforce some SHOULDs anyway.

Here’s how I have addressed the requirements of Charmod that apply to content (marked as [C] is Charmod). Disclaimer: The implementation decisions I have taken with prototype software are not endorsed by the WHAT WG or anyone else.

C001

Specifications, software and content MUST NOT require or depend on a one-to-one correspondence between characters and the sounds of a language.

This requirement is not machine-checkable and, hence, is not enforced by the software.

C002

Specifications, software and content MUST NOT require or depend on a one-to-one mapping between characters and units of displayed text.

This requirement is not machine-checkable and, hence, is not enforced by the software.

C003

Protocols, data formats and APIs MUST store, interchange or process text data in logical order.

HTML5 as a data format uses logical order. It is not practical to try to figure out in software if the author is trying to subvert the nature of the format on this point. Currently, the software doesn’t enforce this at all. However, it might be useful to catch encoding labels that are used for visual Hebrew or Arabic.

C013

Textual data objects defined by protocol or format specifications MUST be in a single character encoding.

A single character encoding decoder is instantiated per HTTP resource. Encoding violations are treated as fatal. However, some mixed encodings are not caught by this and need human judgment. For example, software can’t tell if ISO-8859-1 and ISO-8859-2 bytes are mixed in one HTTP resource.

C022

Character encodings that are not in the IANA registry SHOULD NOT be used, except by private agreement.

An error is reported.

C023

If an unregistered character encoding is used, the convention of using 'x-' at the beginning of the name MUST be followed.

An error is reported.

C049

The character encoding of content SHOULD be chosen so that it maximizes the opportunity to directly represent characters (ie. minimizes the need to represent characters by markup means such as character escapes) while avoiding obscure encodings that are unlikely to be understood by recipients.

UTF-8 maximizes the opportunity to directly represent characters. A warning is issued if the document uses an encoding that is not supported “everywhere”. For XHTML5 the non-obscure encodings are US-ASCII, ISO-8859-1, UTF-8 and UTF-16. For HTML5, the non-obscure encodings are currently the intersection of IANA-registered encodings supported by Sun JDK 1.4.2_8 and Python 2.4.3. (The service supports a wider set of encodings.) The character spectrum use of the document is not analyzed, because I think it wouldn’t be useful way to use my time considering that using UTF-8 always satisfies this requirement.

C034

If facilities are offered for identifying character encoding, content MUST make use of them; where the facilities offered for character encoding identification include defaults (e.g. in XML 1.0 [XML 1.0]), relying on such defaults is sufficient to satisfy this identification requirement.

An error is reported if an HTML5 document does not have an explicit character encoding declaration (either internal or external).

C024

Content and software that label text data MUST use one of the names required by the appropriate specification (e.g. the XML specification when editing XML text) and SHOULD use the MIME preferred name of a character encoding to label data in that character encoding.

An error is reported if an encoding label is not the MIME preferred name.

C025

An IANA-registered charset name MUST NOT be used to label text data in a character encoding other than the one identified in the IANA registration of that name.

Encoding violations are treated as fatal. However, this doesn’t catch cases where the document byte sequence is legal in the declared encoding. For example, ISO-8859-2 labeled as ISO-8859-1 is not conclusively machine-detectable.

C073

Publicly interchanged content SHOULD NOT use codepoints in the private use area.

Charmod does allow the use of private use area for script that have not yet been encoded. Since human judgment is needed, the software only emits a warning. Moreover, C040 denies denying the use of the PUA.

C076

Content MUST NOT use a code point for any purpose other than that defined by its coded character set.

This requirement is not machine-checkable and, hence, is not enforced by the software.

C047

Escapes SHOULD only be used when the characters to be expressed are not directly representable in the format or the character encoding of the document, or when the visual representation of the character is unclear.

This requirement is not enforced—not even as a warning. Using the five pre-defined entities in XML, using the HTML5 entities from the specification or using numeric characters references is harmless when it comes to the parsed document tree. Enforcing this requirement would mean proclaiming a prevalent authoring practice non-conforming on the grounds of the aesthetics of view source. Moreover, Charmod doesn’t give a solid machine-checkable definition for characters whose visual representation is unclear.

C048

Content SHOULD use the hexadecimal form of character escapes rather than the decimal form when there are both.

This requirement is not enforced—not even as a warning. Using the five pre-defined entities in XML, using the HTML5 entities from the specification or using numeric characters references is harmless when it comes to the parsed document tree. Enforcing this requirement would mean proclaiming a prevalent authoring practice non-conforming on the grounds of the aesthetics of view source.

C054

Users of specifications (software developers, content developers) SHOULD whenever possible prefer ways other than string indexing to identify substrings or point within a string.

This requirement is not machine-checkable to the extent it might apply to the (X)HTML5 layer and, hence, is not enforced by the software.

In the spirit of perpetual beta, the new code is enabled for all (X)HTML presets in the generic UI. Please let me know if it doesn’t work as described.

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