[rfc-i] LaTeX proposal misunderstood

Yaakov Stein yaakov_s at rad.com
Wed Mar 28 23:18:13 PDT 2012


I don't want to prolong this thread any more than necessary.

However, I can't help but respond to 
>   Can we really expect future authors to use something as complicated
>   as LaTeX rather than the tools they are used to?

I have been trying to convince you that LaTeX is MUCH simpler to use than the IETF XML format,
and has a much better toolset to support users.

If you have any ideas as to how text without markup
can be decently rendered on a large range of devices
I am interested in hearing them.

Y(J)S

-----Original Message-----
From: Ole Jacobsen [mailto:ole at cisco.com] 
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2012 08:09
To: Yaakov Stein
Cc: Joe Touch; rfc-interest at rfc-editor.org
Subject: RE: [rfc-i] LaTeX proposal misunderstood


Yaakov,

Yes, I used the word "editor" loosely to refer to "tool used to 
write/generate the document", but I think we first need to agree on:

*  What will a future RFC look like in its "standard form"?
   (this includes the thorny issue of illustrations).

*  Can we really expect future authors to use something as complicated
   as LaTeX rather than the tools they are used to?

*  Do we define the new format(s) to explicitly support different 
   devices (as you assume) or do we treat this as a "tools problem"
   and a matter of post-processing?

Given that we have no idea what future devices will look like, I find 
it more productive to discuss what a generic RFC might look like. I 
realize that this may indeed require some tools to mark internal 
components as you suggest, but I am much less sure that using LaTeX
(or similar systems) isn't just detracting us from the more 
fundamental questions of what our documents should "look like" (again
speaking loosely).

Ole

Ole J. Jacobsen
Editor and Publisher,  The Internet Protocol Journal
Cisco Systems
Tel: +1 408-527-8972   Mobile: +1 415-370-4628
E-mail: ole at cisco.com  URL: http://www.cisco.com/ipj
Skype: organdemo


On Thu, 29 Mar 2012, Yaakov Stein wrote:

> Ole
> 
> It isn't "editors" per se, it is the use of a typesetting "system"
> vs the use of WYSIWYG.
> 
> I can't speak for others, but the reason I am speaking of this 
> rather than "what RFCs look like" is simply that we have to get used 
> to the fact that they should look different on every device.
> 
> A format that looks good on "letter" or A4 paper, isn't optimal for 
> laptop screens, but we have been able to get by. But it breaks down 
> on small devices (as I demonstrated in my presentation).
> 
> So we need the document to be smart enough to adapt to the screen 
> size and characteristics. We can get that by using a typesetting 
> "system" with internal marking of what the various parts of the RFC 
> are (paragraphs of text, tables, lists, block diagrams, protocol 
> timelines, equations, etc). A display driver that understands these 
> differentiations will be able to display the document optimally on 
> each device.
> 
> Y(J)S
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ole Jacobsen [mailto:ole at cisco.com] 
> Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 23:57
> To: Joe Touch
> Cc: Yaakov Stein; rfc-interest at rfc-editor.org
> Subject: Re: [rfc-i] LaTeX proposal misunderstood
> 
> 
> I have no idea why we ar discussing editors AT ALL.
> 
> I thought we were supposed to discuss evolving the RFC *format* which 
> I took to mean what RFCs look like (yes, when printed, because that
> is what they were "intended" to be at least by design). In this 
> regard, our format is about 35 years behind any (most?) other SDOs.
> 
> Any chance we could discuss that instead of "my favorite editor 
> is..."?
> 
> Ole
> 
> 
> Ole J. Jacobsen
> Editor and Publisher,  The Internet Protocol Journal
> Cisco Systems
> Tel: +1 408-527-8972   Mobile: +1 415-370-4628
> E-mail: ole at cisco.com  URL: http://www.cisco.com/ipj
> Skype: organdemo
> 
> 
> 


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