[rfc-i] issue: canonical formats

Iljitsch van Beijnum iljitsch at muada.com
Tue Jun 5 03:11:42 PDT 2012

On 4 Jun 2012, at 10:50 , Yoav Nir wrote:

> Most HTML in the world doesn't look like an RFC. 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

Note that we have the exact same issue today when we submit text files, but those text files need to conform to the RFC layout. Text files that aren't RFCs or drafts don't conform to that layout, but then, those text files aren't submitted to the RFC Editor for publication as an RFC.

> 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.

No adaptation is necessary, just a simple email: "Your submission doesn't conform to the submission guidelines. Please fix and resubmit."

> The tools available for editing HTML don't make this any better. 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.

Many tools can _export_ to HTML, which creates HTML that bends over backward to create a certain output format. Such HTML is not useful for our purposes. Although I haven't used any myself, I'm pretty sure there are HTML editors that will edit HTML in a more structure-centered and less display-centered way, which would work. Also, many people know enough HTML to create it by hand if they prefer.

More information about the rfc-interest mailing list