[rfc-i] Reasons for going beyond ASCII art

"Martin J. Dürst" duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp
Fri Sep 21 23:20:58 PDT 2012


On 2012/09/22 8:40, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> On 21/09/2012 18:58, Paul Hoffman wrote:
>> Greetings again. The -00 draft says:
>> =====
>>     Arguments in favor of replacing ASCII art with more complex diagrams
>>     include:

To start with, "more complex diagrams" seems inappropriate here. It's 
easily possible to create very complex diagrams in ASCII art. One may 
need quite a bit of space for that, but that's not a show-stopper.

The main benefit when switching from ASCII art to e.g. something like 
SVG is that diagrams can look a lot cleaner. This is a benefit even for 
very simple diagrams.


>>        *  Given the difficulties in expressing complex equations with
>>           common mathematical notation, allowing graphic art would allow
>>           equations to be displayed properly.
>> =====
>>
>> People have expressed *many* reasons other than just that one. Off the top of my head, others that have been brought up include:
>>
>> * state diagrams with multiple arrows in different directions and labels on the lines
>>
>> * protocol flow diagrams where each step needs multiple lines of description
>>
>> * scenario descriptions that involve three or more parties with communication flows between them
>>
>> In fact, given how few times equations are used in our documents, even that one is minor relative to the others that are commonly mentioned.
>
> A related point that is not mentioned is whether we have a requirement
> to support colour or greyscale, or whether we require that an RFC can
> be correctly printed in monochrome.

I think the answer to this should be that figures/diagrams/whatever 
should print well and be understandable even in grayscale and 
monochrome, but support color because it's an absolutely great way to 
pass on information to those people who can see colors and in those 
cases where printers and displays can show them (which is a way higher 
percentage than it used to be 20 or 30 years ago).

Regards,   Martin.


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