[rfc-i] Paginated vs. unpaginated

Phillip Hallam-Baker hallam at gmail.com
Tue Mar 27 07:42:24 PDT 2012

I see the following options for identifying parts of documents:

1) Page Numbers
2) Line numbers
3) Section numbers
4) Paragraph numbers

Why would we want to refer to specific parts of documents?

1) Printed citation in a journal
2) Hypertext link from another document

At present the RFC format means that we only have page numbers and
section numbers and so there is rather a mess. Page numbers are not
really granular enough so we often end up quoting parts of a document
to create an anchor.

Some specifications use page numbers and line numbers. This is a bit
busy when reading on the page as the line numbers are very
distracting. It also tends to break down for code samples and screws
up cut and paste.

I prefer the W3C approach of section and paragraph numbers. This is
still a bit busy but less intrusive than the line numbers and
paragraphs are almost always granular enough for editing and
referencing purposes.

Section numbers can change around a lot during editing but are a lot
more stable than line numbers. W3C requires the section anchor
identifiers to be descriptive so that links can track the intended

On Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 10:26 AM, Paul Hoffman <paul.hoffman at vpnc.org> wrote:
> Looking through the recent trickle of messages, it feels like one of the "we gotta have format X" and "we must not have format Y" has used pagination as a reason, but not consistently. People with a strong opinion about whether the canonical format must be paginated (current text lineprinter format, PDF/A, Word with page breaks, ...) or must be unpaginated (HTML, text without page headers/footers/^L, Word without page breaks, ...) should maybe state that explicitly, not through a choice of format.
> --Paul Hoffman
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