[rfc-i] Does the canonical RFC format need to be "readable" by developers and others?

Peter Sylvester peter.sylvester at edelweb.fr
Fri Jul 6 05:56:38 PDT 2012


On 07/06/2012 02:41 PM, Martin Rex wrote:
> Julian Reschke wrote:
>> On 2012-07-06 01:44, Martin Rex wrote:
>>> ...
>>> Moving away from plain ASCII is magnitudes easier than moving away from
>>> XML, which is why ASCII is a pretty good choice in the first place.
>>> ...
>> If moving away from plain ASCII was "easy", it would have happened already.
Martin:

In this millenium I don't think that any RFC had been written
directly in ASCII only with a simple editor as tool.

Since very long (for me at least 30 years) people either use
some kind of markup language like nroff or ibm script, tex
etc.
xml is just simplified sgml which is just a normalized form of
any of the markup tools.

Yes, so call wysiwyg editors have obscured the skills of people
even for writing a C program, a script or whatever.

I may understand that some technical engineers that build
cables, hardware etc do not have a minimal notation of
what means a programming language.

But pretending that xml is rocket science, or a very difficult
thing to understand, which needs complicated tools to
process, and tehs tools, although open source, will
very likely suffer from an enormous maintenance problem
because in a few years suddenly all current machines,
compilers for all programmnig languages etc will fail
and will be replaced. Well, one needs to write a COBOL
program, that language is definitely older that the
Internet. ;-)


> rfcmarkup, which produces one HTMLized version of ASCII TXT RFCs and IDs
> accessible under http://tools.ietf.org/html/
> did not need months of mailing list discussions to come into existence,
> and did not require I-D authors to dump their existing authoring tools.
Yes.

It might be time to define the document structure of an
RFC and not having debates about which syntactical markup
it is represented. To do this one may need
another formalism? I don't think so.

>
> -Martin
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