[rfc-i] issue: legal status of canonical formats

John Levine johnl at taugh.com
Sun Jun 3 01:48:44 PDT 2012


>I think it should be fairly easy to create at least three output formats:
> - HTML (simplified somewhat for longevity) with no pagination
> - PDF (maybe /A) with page numbers. You can play with the settings so that the same PDF would print OK on both A4 and US Letter
> - old-style text. Smallest file, and some prefer it.

All quite sensible.  One of the reasons I don't want a canonical
output format is that if a sufficient of people ask for, say, epub or
mobi or a format for some device that becomes popular five or ten
years from now, the tools people could just make them and not have to
go through a lot of quasi-legal backflips.

>Note that the output formats are not equivalent.

Right.  That's why they're canonical to the extent that they represent
the contents of the canonical input.

> such as "mobile" html, epub, or ODF, but I think even the regular
> HTML can and should work well on a phone or tablet, especially if it
> looks like the current HTML output of xml2rfc.

I can report from experience that a Kindle deals a lot better with a
MOBI mechanically created from the HTML than it does with the HTML.
It's quite slow, rendering HTML is not its strong point.

R's,
John


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