[rfc-i] Data point [Re: Fwd: I-D ACTION:draft-hoffman-utf8-rfcs-03.txt]
dhc2 at dcrocker.net
Mon Oct 6 21:12:31 PDT 2008
Paul Hoffman wrote:
> At 5:01 PM -0700 10/6/08, Dave CROCKER wrote:
>> By my reading of your results, your test demonstrates that raw UTF-8
>> produces unpredictable and/or undesirable outcomes with common tools.
>> Hence it fails the requirement.
> To which "the requirement" are you referring?
The one that was in the immediately preceding sentence, in the paragraph that
you did not include:
"I've understood that robustness as being a continuing requirement."
> We explicitly did not put any
> requirements in our document because no such requirements appear in RFC 2223.
> Our document proposes a change in the encoding, *not* a change in the
> requirements for the RFC series.
Sure it does. The long-standing requirement has been robustness in surviving
varied handling and retaining readability. Concern for that requirement has
been at the core of every rejection for proposed encoding/format enhancement
made in at least the last 15 years.
Brian's test scenario demonstrates a substantial change in survivability. In
other words, the document becomes much more fragile than it ever has been.
That's a very basic change from the history of RFCs.
> Personally, my requirement is that RFCs be the most useful to the largest of
> the intended audiences, namely implementers and operators.
"Useful" comes in many forms and is best not treated as local optimization.
RFCs work now and have worked for a long time. Any improvement needs to come
without causing problems in established behavior. The kind of handling that
Brian performed is a reasonable exemplar in how RFCs are typically handled,
while remaining useful. If a raw document no longer survives the kind of
handling, their usefulness is reduced.
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