[rfc-i] issue: canonical formats

John R Levine johnl at taugh.com
Fri Jun 1 08:26:01 PDT 2012

>> The input format is definitive.
> I think that really only works if the input format is also the canonical
> output format, so it gets seen, checked, and loudly mirrored.

We don't seem to have much trouble with errors in xml2rfc drafts. 
Mechanical checks can be much more extensive than for line printer format, 
and there's nothing of importance in one that won't affect what you see in 
the output formats.

> I do think we need a canonical output to support some of the legal use
> cases.

Please can we not play junior lawyer?  My understanding is that the legal 
uses entirely boil down to a lawyer or court saying "is this a copy of RFC 
9999?" and someone who can speak for the IETF saying yes.  That doesn't 
need a canonical output format, just the ability to say whether the 
contents of a document match the contents of the canonical one, and no 
court I've ever dealt with cared about the difference between a copy of a 
document in different layouts or typefaces. But neither of us really 

John Levine, johnl at taugh.com, Taughannock Networks, Trumansburg NY
"I dropped the toothpaste", said Tom, crestfallenly.

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