[rfc-i] [Gen-art] review: draft-hoffman-xml2rfc-04
Joel M. Halpern
jmh at joelhalpern.com
Tue Apr 8 02:32:51 PDT 2014
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The 'XML2RFC' version 3 Vocabulary
Reviewer: Joel M. Halpern
Summary: This review focuses on readability rather than on XML details.
In that light, this document could use some improvement.
The explanation in section 1.1 seems to bounce from topic to topic
losing the reader repeatedly. The explanation of the intended
compatibility before the list of changes is confusing. Either there are
v2 features that don't work, or all v2 works, with some deprecated.
It seems that discussion of the RFC Editor handling of v2 documents
and this grammar belongs somewhere other than the definition of the
grammar. I was surprised to find discussion of canonical RFCs here.
That set of text was probably the most confusing aspect of section 1.1.
In section 2.5.6 on the 'type' attribute of the <artwork> element,
it talks about the processor. Since that appears to be a reference to
the internal RFC Editor processor, rather than to the tools readers or
writers will use, I would think that confusing text should be removed.
(The processor will throw errors in certain cases, but consumers should
not throw errors in any text cases?)
The question of how the grammar is generated is not a substantive
difference between v2 and v3, and tells the reader nothing about what
will follow. If it should be mentioned at all, it would seem better in
some other section of the document than 1.1
Does <artwork> section 2.5 still need to be enclosed in the cdata
construct to actually have the formatting preserved? If so, should
section 2.5 say that? (Or am I just confused and issuing useless
incantations in my current docs?)
In section 2.5, and probably elsewhere, some of the attributes are
"ought to be avoided", and one is "Deprecated". The author apparently
means something specific by "ought to be avoided", but this reader is
In section 2.22.6 on the suppress-title attribute for the <figure>
element, the text is either confusing or incorrect. THe text talks
about figures that have anchor attributes getting autogenerated titles.
And that if one wants to suppress that, one should set this to
"false". It seems pretty odd that setting suppress to false (which is
the default) would suppress the autogenerated title. If it will, the
attribute name is just wrong. More likely, you suppress the
auto-generated title by setting this attribute to "true".
This also seems to occur in 2.49.4 in the suppress-title for <table>.
Since <format> is defined (in section 2.23) it ought to be lsited
as part of the valid content model for <reference> in section 2.40.
In section 2.40 on <reference>, it might be useful to explain what
will happen with the short form references. It seems that how they get
rendered will depend upon whether the processing engine has the ability
to find additional data to use? Or maybe not?
Also, since <reference> allows <front>, <innerRefContent>, ... it
seems that <reference> has a content model. So I presume it is an error
for it to say that it does not have a content model?
I would have expected the values of the 'series' attribute of the
<reference> element to be described in the attribute section (2.40.3)
rather than in the base element section (2.40).
It would be nice if the deprecated elements were marked as
deprecated both in their definition and in the places where they can
appear. (for example, marking <facsimile> as deprecated in the content
model listing for <address>). On the other hand, that may be a pain to
In the description of <date> in section 2.15, the text correctly
notes that it can appear either as a document date or as a reference
date. And then correctly notes that the only legal parent for this is
<front>. Is there any way to remind the reader that <front> is used in
long form references?
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