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

Yoav Nir ynir at checkpoint.com
Thu Jun 21 14:11:31 PDT 2012

On Jun 21, 2012, at 11:51 PM, Andrew Sullivan wrote:

> On Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 08:34:04PM -0000, John Levine wrote:
>>> 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.
>> Because these are RFCs, not (other than on the occasional April 1st)
>> poetry or literary criticism.
> Right, which is why I was sceptical of (ISTR Joel's?) claim that
> people who couldn't read XML needed to be able to read these.  Sorry
> if that wasn't clear.

RFC 5585 (DKIM overview) is not poetry or literary criticism, but it is meant to be read by the kind of people who would not be able to read raw XML.

I don't know if this kind of document is starting a trend or whether it's a one-off, but there may be cases in the future where some RFCs will be meant for reading by less technical people.

I don't usually read the XML either. I read rendered HTML, PDF or text regardless of whether or not it is the canonical form. The important thing for a canonical form is that it has all the data, not so much that it is readable in itself.

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