[rfc-i] rfctool and html2rfc

Phillip Hallam-Baker hallam at gmail.com
Sun Jul 28 22:14:48 PDT 2013


I just submitted the first Internet Draft prepared using rfctool. The draft
describes the HTML microformat that rfctool supports as an input format.

http://www.ietf.org/id/draft-hallambaker-rfctool-00.txt

The main advantages to using HTML2RFC format described in the draft are:

* No need to remember tags from an arcane dtd, standard html tags (h1..n6,
p, li, ul...) do almost all the work needed

* Generates concordances of defined terms and normative text in context
automatically.


The tool is open source and was originally written to support HTML2RFC
format but it is not at all difficult to add in xml2rfc format as well and
so I will be doing that as well soon. So the following advantages will
apply to xml documents as well:

* Automatic management of citations. Just drop the citation into running
text and the tool will work it out. Lists of normative and informative
references are generated automatically

* Pulls references from online libraries and caches the results so document
preparation can be done offline.

* Runs on Windows without the need for additional downloads (any version
with .NET, all versions since Vista, XP with certain service packs)

* Runs on Linux, OSX under Mono, will be distributed as a standalone binary
that does not need Mono installed as soon as I can work out a build
strategy.

* Split the document source across multiple files and pull text from
examples, source code etc. automatically.


The tool is still under development but I think it is clear that HTML can
support all the functionality of RFC2629. At the moment the tool supports
all of it except for some of the list numbering stuff I don't see the need
for and a few details I have not got round to yet.


The HTML output is not quite finished yet but I think the tool should prove
useful to anyone wanting to experiment with features such as marking code
with tags so that the original input can be extracted from the output.

The eventual aim is to be able to round trip text from the HTML output and
use it as input. If there is an IETF style sheet developed, I would be
happy to convert the tool to make use of the chosen class tags.


-- 
Website: http://hallambaker.com/
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