[rfc-i] Branding

Dave Crocker dhc at dcrocker.net
Mon Aug 6 10:10:05 PDT 2012

On 8/6/2012 9:28 AM, Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) wrote:
> On 8/4/12 7:52 AM, Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:
>> How about a different color for Proposed and Standard?
> I very much hesitate to rely on color for anything official.  Color gets
> complicated when talking about accessibility, and a different kind of
> complicated when talking about how this might apply to different streams
> as well as the different tracks within the IETF.  Who gets what color,
> how to do we educate the readers as to what the colors mean, and so on.
> It sounds like we are just moving the problem around.

Stray thoughts for all of us (not just Heather):

There is a basic distinction between alternative renderings that 
facilitate reading, versus alternative renderings that provide different 

      So, for example, current RFCs are rendered through 
datatracker.ietf.org in text, pdf, and html.  But the 'information' in 
the 3 forms is identical.  That is, the alternatives only accomodate 
various media and reading styles, rather than containing different content.

      In contrast, a few RFCs contain some information in a pretty-print 
form that isn't in the txt form.

Moving towards regular occurrence of the latter is a major paradigm 
shift for the RFCs.

My own preference is that it not happen, but at the least, any change 
that major would warrant very careful justification.  Enhancement of a 
working system can be a good thing, but disruption of its long history 
of success is not.  (It's worked great for 40 years, so let's fix it.)

So, for example, I would love to have html and epub forms that are fully 
tuned for variable display environments, with fonts, colors, 
line-wrapping and page-boundaries that are scalable to the size of the 
screen.  This would facilitate reading RFCs on modern tablets, etc.  In 
contrast, I would not like this to lead to unreadable txt versions.

As folk lobby for one change or another, it would be helpful to have 
them make clear whether they want "alternate" representation or 
"different information" and to explain the compelling reason, especially 
for the former.


  Dave Crocker
  Brandenburg InternetWorking

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