[rfc-i] issue: canonical formats

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Wed Jun 6 00:06:30 PDT 2012

(off list)

On 2012-06-05 12:26, Martin J. Dürst wrote:
> We (both the list and Heather with input from IETF legal) have come to
> the conclusion that exact formatting isn't an issue as long as the
> content is the same (which is a technical problem and so we should be
> able to deal with it).

But that's just the problem. If there's a PDF version and an ASCII
version (just to refer to today's reality) and there is a technical
difference between the two (originally caused by human error),
which one counts, ten years later in court?

I don't see how we can "deal with that" except by stating which one
is valid.

And as Martin's story of two I-Ds and a patent seems to show,
even formatting differences can be relevant. So the argument that
automatic reflowing doesn't matter is unconvincing to me.

I remain convinced that we need to state which version is canonical.
That doesn't mean I'm against reflowable formats, etc., for
convenience. It's just that there needs to be a reference version.


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