Unicorn: harmonized observation framework for validation, conformace, quality, etc.
First, please accept my apologies for the cross-posting. I suppose
this is a logical curse for a message about a harmonizing too, that
it touches topics covered by a number of communities, and it takes a
certain amount of cross-posting. If you reply, please use some
restraint in cross-posting: replies aimed at the developers should be
sent to <[hidden email]>. Thank you.
One of the problems common to all quality checking effort is that is
is usually impossible for one tool to do it all, for a number of
reasons. The best reason, probably, is that a do-it-all-and-coffee
tool will seldom be as efficient, well designed and maintained as a
very precise tool designed for a single goal. Yet, in terms of
usability, needing to check a Web document through 3 tools for the
sole task of checking the markup, style and the presence broken links
is hardly a pleasure.
With that in mind, there has been an effort in the qa-dev team to
come up with a solution: first with some formalized ideas (by Terje
Bless and Bjoern Hoerhmann) in the context of markup validator
modularization, and now within a software projects led by Damien
Leroy and Jean-Guilhem Rouel, code named "Unicorn".
The goal of Unicorn is to create a framework capable of organizing
the work on multiple observers on a single document, orchestrate
their work in pre-defined tasks, gather their observations (be that
validation errors, broken links, spelling mistakes, etc) and present
them in a useful manner to the end user. The strategy used, since all
the tools we commonly use are written in different languages, barring
us from using a code-level library approach, is to organize the
framework with web services.
Worth noting is that the tool is already functional (at an alpha test
level) and that we should have a public demo running rather soon. The
source code will be public and open, as always with our tools.
Feedback (if possible sent only to the developers' list public-qa-
[hidden email]) is very welcome, either on the principle, the
technologies used, the schemas developed, etc.
Also, if you are the developer of a checking tool which you think
would be a good observer for that framework, and if you haven't heard
from me on that topic:
1- check your spam mailbox :)
2- drop us a line on public-qa-dev, we'd be happy to talk with you
Finally, feel free to spread the word about this development project
to selected forums or lists if you think they could be interested.