[rfc-i] RFC format: any discussions at the Paris IETF?

Joe Touch touch at isi.edu
Sun Feb 26 19:29:38 PST 2012

On 2/26/2012 7:10 PM, John Levine wrote:
>>> I think we all agree that whatever the canonical format is, we'll want
>>> tools to translate from whatever editors people like, but it's worth
>>> mentioning.
>> FWIW, my point is that a form that doesn't have a WYSIWYG editor is,
>> IMO, DOA.
> We seem to have a severe confusion here between tools and document formats.

The two are not independent.

> I think everyone agrees that authors of drafts can use whatever tools
> they want to write and edit them,


> and we should ensure that our choice
> of future tools and formats lets that continue.

That's where the complexity exists.

> But that has
> practically no bearing on what formats we eventually decide to use.
> Let's imagine we like the xml2rfc profile of XML.  There are screen
> editors like xxe that can edit it directly.

Edit source.

> If people like MS Word,
> it wouldn't be particularly hard to write tools to translate between
> DOC or DOCX and xml2rfc,

It took quite a while to get a Word tool that generated the appropriate 
TXT output. It is *incredibly* hard to write tools to some formats. If 
anyone thinks it's easy to generate "xml2rfc" XML in Word, please 
demonstrate that.

 > and if there were sufficient interest, we
> could commission an add-in that let Word read and write xml2rfc
> directly.  Personally, I edit the XML in epsilon using an XML
> highlightimg mode because it's faster than screwing around trying to
> get allegedly user friendly editors to create the right markup.
> On the other hand, even though DOC and DOCX are semi-open (OpenOffice,
> Abiword, Libreoffice, etc.) there's obvious reasons that neither is
> appropriate for an archival format.

I agree. The concern is in selecting an archival format which is "editor 


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