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

Martin Rex mrex at sap.com
Fri Jul 6 08:47:52 PDT 2012


Julian Reschke wrote:
>
> Martin Rex wrote:
> >
> > Julian Reschke wrote:
> > 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.
> >
> > 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.
> 
> ...and it does only a subset of what we're trying to get.
> 
> Yes, you've told us numerous times that it would be easy to extend to do 
> more, but so far nobody has done that.

Creating a HTML-variant that permits floating would be easy, and
it would be even easier for the RFCs from the RFC Editors nroff interim
format.

The output of "man ls" on a Linux box adapts to the size of the window,
and is based on nroff source.

For more than a decade, doing "man ls" on an IBM AIX machine (TTY with SSH)
resulted in a very difficult to read output, because IBM did neither ship
their man pages in nroff format, nor did they include a tool that created
any sensible output format.

It appears that AIX 6.1 now includes man pages in HTML format,
AND the "man" utility was improved to be able to sensibly render
HTML as ASCII text in the terminal, similar to how man pages
have been looking on other Unix variant for decades.

However, IBM AIX does not seem to include a tool to display HTML
text graphically by default, which makes this a slightly odd choice.

Typical Linux distros all come with *more* than one browser, and
still they include man pages in nroff format.


-Martin


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