[rfc-i] Problems and requirements for RFC Format

SM sm at resistor.net
Wed Apr 18 10:50:58 PDT 2012


Hi Joe,
At 08:46 18-04-2012, Joe Touch wrote:
>I'm not sure who would refer to the list below as "the RFC Format". 
>Are you intending to describe the current rules, or some basic view 
>of the current rules?

The text was a modified version of the PostScript Format Rules 
(Appendix B of http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc-style-guide/rfc-style ).

>There's a lines per page limit (I don't recall right now) which 
>drives the point size. I'd state it as lines per page, though.

Yes.

>And the spacing should be the same as the text size; there's no 
>reason to assume a larger spacing.

Yes.

>For rendering, *ANY* fixed-width font is fine (and any non-fixed is 
>NOT) (presuming you're talking about alternate representations like 
>HTML). Bold/italic can be included but since there's no indication 
>of this in the source, such marking is meaningless.

[snip]

>ASCII 32-126 decimal (7-bit ASCII printable except tab), LF (aka 
>NL), FF, and CR.

I avoided getting into the details.  What was/is being asked of 
authors is pre-press work.  That pre-press work is not required until 
the document reaches the (RFC) publication queue.  The publication 
layout stuff (lines per page, characters per line) is not a 
limitation as anyone can change that to suit his/her needs.

There are arguments in favor of the existing format.  For example, 
the technical errata at 
http://www.rfc-editor.org/errata_search.php?rfc=6376&eid=3192 is 
about any extra space.  The editorial errata (unverified) at 
http://www.rfc-editor.org/errata_search.php?rfc=5246&eid=3191 is 
about "Obsoletes:".

According to the RFC Editorial goals, the RFC Editor strives for 
consistency within:

   a. the document,
   b. a set of documents, and
   c. the series of RFCs on the subject matter.

Are those still the goals?

I don't think that striving for consistency within RFCs on a subject 
matter can be reduced to 72 characters per line, 58 lines per page in 
ASCII.  I don't mind if it is reduced to that.

Picking some random questions off the Internet: 
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2302290/how-to-write-and-propose-a-rfc
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1362696/how-to-write-a-good-rfc-standard-and-where-to-get-started
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/7022298/recommend-any-best-first-ietf-rfc-to-read

Regards,
-sm

Informative reference: RFC 2550
   



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