[rfc-i] issue: canonical formats

Julian Reschke julian.reschke at gmx.de
Fri Jun 1 08:36:49 PDT 2012


On 2012-06-01 17:26, John R Levine wrote:
>>> 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 knows.
> ...

Right.

However right now xml2rfc produces the copyright text from document 
metadata, it's not included in the source file. (I believe it's the 
right approach because it avoids people messing with the text)

Best regards, Julian


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