[rfc-i] Does the canonical RFC format need to be "readable" by developers and others?

Andrew Sullivan ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
Thu Jun 21 13:27:43 PDT 2012


On Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 03:57:25PM -0400, Joel M. Halpern wrote:

> Rather, there should be one form that readers who are NOT active
> IETF members, and who may not be able to read XML or SGML, can check
> in the case of apparent inconsistencies to make sure they know what
> the precise spec is.

I get the worry about having one canonical format in the (extremely
unlikely) event that there is a problem in the toolchain.  But the
above depends on an extra premise, which is, "IETF-naïve readers will
be able to read that canonical form without difficulty."  Why do you
think that premise is true?  I am sceptical.

For what it's worth, any concern I have about making HTML or XML or
whatever the canonical form is really just that such a decision almost
by definition makes some tools quasi-official, and I know that will
annoy many people who don't like those tools.  (Most of the ones I'm
thinking of aren't participating in this conversation.)  This might be
the correct trade-off to make (I already said I refuse to state an
opinion), but I'd like for the trade-off to be made explicitly.
That's all.  



Andrew Sullivan
ajs at anvilwalrusden.com

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