[rfc-i] Use of PDF/A for archiving RFC's

Leonard Rosenthol lrosenth at adobe.com
Wed Mar 21 15:28:47 PDT 2012

I think the question of self-containment for the archival format is
clearly one that needs some discussion.

Do we want/need a format that is self-contained for all aspects (content,
metadata, authenticity, etc.)?   If you were to ask archivists, they will
tell you - DEFINITELY.  Self-containment makes archiving much easier.
But we may have different needs.


On 3/21/12 3:19 PM, "Joe Touch" <touch at isi.edu> wrote:

>Hi, Leonard,
>Yes, I forgot to state that the formats need not be the same; the only
>strict requirement is that we can navigate from one format to another
>using widely available tools (in most cases; in some, such as in the
>editor's role, it's OK that the tools not necessarily be widely
>Regarding other items you propose for the archival format:
>	- authenticity
>	this can be achieved many ways, not necessarily inside the
>	format itself (e.g., an external thumbprint, such as MD5 sum)
>	- metadata
>	this is necessary, but need not be in the same format or even
>	the same document as the RFC itself
>FWIW, I'm the one who uses Word to generate RFCs currently; I don't use
>XML because the editors are too cumbersome. Not to say I support that as
>any particular format, but I'd be very happy if the author format
>supported the use of a "modern WYSIWYG" editor. That's my personal
>preference, though, so I didn't list it as a requirement.
>On 3/21/2012 3:12 PM, Leonard Rosenthol wrote:
>> Joe - I think those are a great starting point for requirements.
>> I just want to point out, as I did in my presentation, that I don't
>> believe that a "one size fits all" is necessary.  Meaning that the
>> authoring format need not necessary be the archival format.  In fact, I
>> would say that it's important that they are NOT the same format because
>> (as you are doing below), the requirements for each differ.
>> For example, I would add to the Archive item some items that aren't
>> necessary during the editing process:
>> - Guarantee of authenticity
>> 	How do you know that a given RFC is really the approved version from
>> IETF?
>> - Metadata
>> 	Information about authors, rights, history, etc. in a standard
>> machine+human readable format
>> Leonard
>> On 3/21/12 2:43 PM, "Joe Touch"<touch at isi.edu>  wrote:
>>> Hi, all,
>>> It might be useful to understand the requirements, and separate out the
>>> phases since each might have different requirements. Paul notes below a
>>> display requirement for the archival version. Some others that come to
>>> mind.
>>> Since I won't be at the IETF, my view of the phases and some possible
>>> requirements is:
>>> (this isn't intended to be complete or definitive, but as a suggestion
>>> for discussion):
>>> ------------
>>> Authorship
>>> - supported by editors on a wide variety of platforms
>>> Editing/community review
>>> - supports document comparison ("diffs" or equivalent)
>>> - supports copy/paste into email on a wide variety of platforms (e.g.,
>>> for email-list conversations about content)
>>> 	this might include copy/paste of text as text for email,
>>> 	or copy/paste of diagrams as GIF or JPGs for email
>>> Submission
>>> - can be verified compliant using automatic tools/programs
>>> - can be modified (i.e., editable; arguably this means the submission
>>> format is either the same as the authorship one or can be easily
>>> translated into a format that can be edited)
>>> Archive
>>> - displays on a wide variety of devices
>>> - supports both intradocument and multi-document search (i.e.,
>>> the entire RFC series)
>>> - stability measured in decades
>>> -------------
>>> On 3/21/2012 2:24 PM, Paul Hoffman wrote:
>>>> Greetings again, Leonard.
>>>> One common problem with PDF/A is that some display systems cannot
>>>> render the results from some PDF/A writers because there is
>>>> about what the spec says or means, and many systems try to be
>>>> bug-compatible with others.
>>>> Are there any widely-accepted test systems that will evaluate a PDF/A
>>>> file and say whether it is conformant to the standard and, if not,
>>>> it failed conformance?
>>>> --Paul Hoffman
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> rfc-interest mailing list
>>>> rfc-interest at rfc-editor.org
>>>> https://www.rfc-editor.org/mailman/listinfo/rfc-interest

More information about the rfc-interest mailing list