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

Iljitsch van Beijnum iljitsch at muada.com
Thu Jun 21 13:41:48 PDT 2012

On 21 Jun 2012, at 21:36 , Joel M. Halpern wrote:

> I have thought of the term canonical as being akin to normative.
> If we have transformations, periodically there will be inconsistencies.
> It seems to me helpful, and arguably necessary, to have a specific, singular, form which can be read in the case o finconsistency.
> thus, I am very uncomfortable with a canonical form that is the xml,


> etc.

I assume that one of the things covered under this would be HTML.

Obviously reading HTML code is no fun and harder for most people than for most of us. (Remember there is a big difference between people writing RFCs and people reading them, although presumably the former is a subset of the latter, but only a very small subset.)

But as I wrote a few days ago, I think that even though the rendering of HTML provides display output that varies more than doing the same for PDF, for our purposes the results are sufficiently identical to live with that.

CSS is now pretty mature, so a straightforward subset of that will render sufficiently similar on different browsers to be useful. If we then also make sure that the file renders reasonably well on a browser that doesn't implement CSS I think we've covered all our bases.

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