[rfc-i] Data point [Re: Fwd:I-D ACTION:draft-hoffman-utf8-rfcs-03.txt]

Joe Touch touch at ISI.EDU
Wed Oct 8 15:29:24 PDT 2008


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Hi, Dave,

Dave CROCKER wrote:
> 
> 
> Joe Touch wrote:
>>   Such tools need not be
>> nearly as ubiquitous or support legacy systems as those for
>> reading/printing.
> 
> That position is probably worthy of some discussion.  It, too, has
> engendered some confusion between tools and representation.  (Being able
> to MS Word, for example, is fine, but was is significant is the format
> of the data it results, whether raw txt, xml, or whatever.)
> 
> Historically -- and to this day -- any ol' text editor would do just
> fine. Fancier tools, such as a xml editor that can conform to xml2rfc,
> is an enhancement, rather than a requirement.

To clarify - I'm calling all of the following "tools":
	editors to write docs
	viewers to read docs (readers)
	viewers or other systems to print docs (printers)

There are various source formats for these documents - .xml, .doc, .nr,
and .txt; I think we agree that none of these is important. It's the
output format that needs to be supported.

And it's certainly OK for an editor to be a system of components, e.g.,
including post-processing scripts.

However, regarding readers and printers, it would be useful for there to
be at least one freely available version for each to be available in as
many places that support the current format as possible*. Such tools
should have the following requirements:

	- input the archived format (no magic number, not HTML, etc.)
	- be monolithic (no extra scripts for conversion)
	- operate correctly with their default configuration

(* I understand that if we assume "in all places", we'll never move
forward, but we can't just assume "in all modern desktop OS's" either.)

I have not been convinced that UTF-8 is as widely supported as is
asserted in this regard.

Joe


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