[rfc-i] LaTeX proposal misunderstood

Iljitsch van Beijnum iljitsch at muada.com
Tue Apr 3 12:27:44 PDT 2012


In my opinion, using latex as the input format would be a very bad idea. It would be exchanging one arcane format that is hard to use for many/most people by another.

In theory the current format can be generated with standard tools, but in practice that's not really possible, we need the XML2RFC format or a very tightly formatted ASCII RFC to derive the necessary meta data to generate other formats and use other tools.

I don't think we can come up with a solution that will allow many different word processors or text editors to create this meta data in a sufficiently exact way. So we should accept the fact that tools are necessary for that part.

However, most of a draft or RFC consists of text with only some minimal formatting that is well understood (headings, regular text, block quotes, bullet lists, numbered lists, etc) and can be generated with many tools. So having our own tool that requires marking up this formatting in a specific way is unnecessary at best and may get in the way of productivity.

I don't think latex is an obvious choice for either the meta data heavy front and back matter nor for the routine middle part. Another issue is that these kinds of markup don't make it easy to round trip from input to output back to input. So let's just leave that tool to the people who use it by choice and not impose it on the rest of the community.


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