[rfc-i] issue: canonical formats

Phillip Hallam-Baker hallam at gmail.com
Mon Jun 4 10:26:02 PDT 2012


I can't see what the argument here is.

It is going to be relatively straightforward to change from one format
to the other so the choice of input syntax is much less important than
the choice of semantic information to capture.


The only really critical part to the whole process is that the editor
needs to change the internal tool chain from nroff to something that
does not throw away the semantic information and can therefore support
multiple different output formats.

That could be xml2rfc or HTML or pretty much anything. Its like the
CLR byte code, it does not really matter what it is so much as the
expressive power and whether it forces information to be thrown away.


On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM, Paul Hoffman <paul.hoffman at vpnc.org> wrote:
> On Jun 4, 2012, at 1:50 AM, Yoav Nir wrote:
>
>> I strongly prefer the XML2RFC. Any XML that you write and pass through xml2rfc comes out looking like an RFC, including correct section numbering, the TOC, etc.
>
> I weakly prefer XML to HTML, and note that any HTML you pass through the future tool will come out looking like an RFC, including correct section numbering, the TOC, etc.
>
>> Most HTML in the world doesn't look like an RFC.
>
> Most XML in the world doesn't look like xml2rfc.
>
>> So if we allow HTML as the submission format, we need tools that reject or fix anything that doesn't look like an RFC, or else have the human RFC editors reformat all the text (and pretty soon, images as well).
>
> The same is true for XML.
>
>> Writing such tools is akin to writing anti-virus software - I-D writers can come up with new ways of creating things that don't look like RFCs faster than the tool can adapt.
>
> The same is true for XML.
>
>> The tools available for editing HTML don't make this any better.
>
> Completely false. There are numerous free text editors on every platform that make this much better. In fact, there are many more free tools for HTML editing than there are for XML editing.
>
>> They might work with DIVs or tables or the infamous small white gif to create structure in documents, and they also tend to create very large files with a lot of embedded formatting, and that makes it harder later on to convert these to usable other formats such as PDF.
>
> They also might not be Word. :-) Seriously, look at the modern free and inexpensive editors for any platform (the ones you are using now for XML): many have nice HTML handling, linting, and so on.
>
> --Paul Hoffman
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