[rfc-i] open issues: small and mobile screens

Colin Perkins csp at csperkins.org
Sat Jun 2 06:23:52 PDT 2012

On 31 May 2012, at 19:30, Peter Saint-Andre wrote:
> On 5/31/12 12:19 PM, Joe Touch wrote:
>> I think that the onus for support for *highly*-constrained devices rests on the consumer, not the producer.
>> I consider "highly constrained" to be a device on which reading current RFCs would be prohibitive (e.g., cellphone). I agree it would be useful to support useful consumer output on a wider range of devices, but we should establish a reasonable lower bound - I'm not sure what that is, but a 4" phone is at least 1/4 what I would consider useful for reading anything beyond a few paragraphs.
> IETF 83 was the first meeting at which I owned a smartphone. Several times I found myself without an "unconstrained" device but wanting to check a technical point in an RFC or Internet-Draft. With the current format it was extremely difficult to even find the right paragraphs, let alone read them. It doesn't need to be this way.

The current RFC format, while it's certainly not optimised for reading on a smartphone, seems quite readable if served with a trivial HTML wrapper. The attached photos show http://csperkins.org/test.html viewed using an iPhone 4S. The content is rfc3550.txt wrapped in HTML <pre> tags, with the default fixed-width font of the phone's browser. The text is small, but quite readable, especially in landscape orientation.

Could an alternative format be more readable and offer more features? I expect so. Is the current format unusable on constrained devices? Not if served using a simple HTML wrapper. 

Colin Perkins

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