[rfc-i] graphics support

Paul E. Jones paulej at packetizer.com
Thu Apr 19 17:07:13 PDT 2012


Why the desire to move from old ASCII text files to something better, but
still cling to drawing diagrams using ASCII art?

The IETF should make an effort to produce better-looking documents and I say
graphics are a key element of that.

For inclusion of graphics, we could require something that we can convert,
like SVG.  We could automate the conversion of that to "the next great
thing".  One thing I do not fully understand is how text is handled in SVG.
Fonts change with time to and changing one font for another where a
character needs precise placement might mean the character is not rendered
in the right place.  Is that an issue with SVG?

Paul 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: rfc-interest-bounces at rfc-editor.org [mailto:rfc-interest-
> bounces at rfc-editor.org] On Behalf Of Larry Masinter
> Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2012 10:58 AM
> To: Dave Crocker
> Cc: rfc-interest at rfc-editor.org; Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor)
> Subject: Re: [rfc-i] graphics support
> 
> I don't think, in this particular case, your ASCII-art alternatives ARE
> more effective than they are misleading. In this particular case, the
> diagrams were meant as illustrations of SVG output (i.e., what a fragment
> of an SVG image would look like), and so an ASCII-art illustration kind of
> misses the whole point.
> 
> I do like the idea of encouraging, at least during a transition period, an
> ASCII-art equivalent of a diagram or illustration or example, in general.
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dave Crocker [mailto:dcrocker at gmail.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 3:37 PM
> To: Larry Masinter
> Cc: rfc-interest at rfc-editor.org; Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor)
> Subject: Re: [rfc-i] graphics support
> 
> 
> 
> On 4/18/2012 12:05 AM, Larry Masinter wrote:
> > Here's an example of a W3C document that uses illustrations where the
> illustrations are helpful.
> >
> > http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/mimeTypesAndFragids-2011-08-12
> >
> > I raise this example because we're trying to decide how an IETF document
> might normatively reference this, and moving some or all of the TAG
> document to "standards track" in an RFC might otherwise cause us to remove
> the examples.
> 
> 
>  From the cited document:
> 
> > 1.1 Media Fragment URIs
> 
> |
> |      xx
> |      xx
> |  xx  xx      xx
> |  xx  xx      xx
> |  xx  xx      xx
> |  xx  xx  xx  xx
> |  xx  xx  xx  xx
> |  xx  xx  xx  xx  xx
> |  xx  xx  xx  xx  xx
> |  xx  xx  xx  xx  xx
> -----------------------
> 
> and then
> 
> |
> | +---------+
> | |      xx |
> | |      xx |
> | |  xx  xx |      xx
> | |  xx  xx |      xx
> | |  xx  xx |      xx
> | |  xx  xx |  xx  xx
> | |  xx  xx |  xx  xx
> | |  xx  xx |  xx  xx  xx
> | |  xx  xx |  xx  xx  xx
> | |  xx  xx |  xx  xx  xx
> -------------------------------------
> 
> These took me about 10 minutes to produce.
> 
> Of course, these aren't as pretty as the graphic form in the document.
> But I'll claim that they are as effective.
> 
> There is a difference between necessary and nice.  Pretty diagrams are
> typically nice but not as necessary as this discussion thread suggests.
> 
> The issue is not words vs. graphics.  The issue is a core encoding form
> that is reliably usable over very long periods with minimal software
> requirements, in a world of continuing, massive change.
> 
> Again note that xml2rfc /already/ allows use of graphics as the
> /preferred/ form in PDF and HTML renderings.  That is, give it an ascii
> version and then also cite an external graphics form.
> 
> Works nicely, as John Levine cited:
> 
>     http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5598   figure 5
> 
> vs.
> 
> 
> http://bbiw.net/specifications/draft-crocker-email-arch-
> 11.html#rfc.figure.5
> 
> 
> As we worry so much about competing with other standards groups, we
> really ought to consider how well they have fared in the game of
> accessibility, compared with the RFC series.  (I always cite my
> encounter with a young IT guy on Borneo in the 90s, who had read the
> RFCs well enough to recognize my name...)
> 
> Having access to the latest technologies and the highest bandwidth is
> addictive and distracting.  We tend to forget how things change and what
> it is like for others with considerably more limited resources.
> 
> d/
> --
>   Dave Crocker
>   bbiw.net
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