[rfc-i] [Tools-discuss] Direction of the RFC Format Development effort

Nico Williams nico at cryptonector.com
Tue Oct 15 12:39:03 PDT 2013

On Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 1:34 PM, Carsten Bormann <cabo at tzi.org> wrote:
> On Oct 15, 2013, at 19:50, "George, Wes" <wesley.george at twcable.com> wrote:
>> need for a WYSIWYG XML editing tool
> Who "needs" that?

I don't, but I got bored of editing XML by hand (even with VIM).

So I wrote a tool that allows one to write I-Ds with LyX (a WYSIWYM
tool), lyx2rfc (http://lyx2rfc.org/lyx2rfc/lyx2rfc.html).  Yaron
Scheffer webified it.

There's other similar tools, from ones that use markdown to to ones
based on nroff (e.g., http://aaa-sec.com/nroffedit/).

See the list archives.

> I sure understand that it's not easy to like editing XML directly.

No, it's not easy to *like* editing XML directly.

> But I'm not sure what "WYSIWYG" means here -- do you mean looking at paged line printer ASCII (.txt) format or looking at XSLT-formatted XML/HTML?

Just look at NroffEdit or lyx2rfc screenshots and you'll get an idea
of what Wes probably has in mind.

>> needlessly complicating this
> Yes.
> There is a clear industry trend towards markdown-based publishing chains (draftin.com, leanpub.com, ...; simple tools such as IA writer, Byword, Writedown, Mou; more powerful tool chains such as Scrivener...).

I don't care that much for markdown.  I don't care that much for
editing source.  I do care for vi keybindings though, and that's a bit
of a problem that leaves one with few options but markdown.  But
that's another story.

> The tools we have today for building RFCs from markdown (Miek Gieben's pandoc solution or kramdown-rfc2629) aren't perfect yet but are doing their job.  Both are using RFC2629 XML as a lingua france to interoperate with the other tools, so there is no need to destabilize the entire RFC editor tools set while we improve them.
> Editing markdown is rather close to "WYSIWYG editing" of an ASCII RFC.

I don't think so.  There's a lot of things that are not trivial in
markdown.  From description lists to artwork to tables, and so on.
The simple things, on the other hand, really are simple in markdown.


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