[rfc-i] For v3: remove <format>?

Julian Reschke julian.reschke at gmx.de
Thu Jan 2 00:54:58 PST 2014

On 2013-12-27 06:42, Nico Williams wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 26, 2013 at 3:17 PM, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke at gmx.de> wrote:
>> On 2013-12-26 20:38, Nico Williams wrote:
>>> Because some of the formats we'll render to (e.g., HTML, but also PDF)
>>> will have clickable links, and it'd be nice to have (in superscript,
>>> or in parenthesis) alternate format links for the same reference.
>>> For example... references to RFCs!  It'd be nice if the HTML rendering
>>> of an RFC's references had clickable links to the canonical format
>>> (today: .txt) of each referenced RFC and additional clickable links
>>> for the HTML and PDF renderings of the referenced RFC.
>> I don't understand why that's desirable, but you can do that today with
>> <annotation>.
> First, I had no idea about <annotation>.  (oops)
> Second, <annotation> is for including free-form prose.  *ref elements
> can also appear inside an <annotation>, but, so what, since they'd be
> surrounded by free-form prose there'd be no way to distinguish
> "alternate format link" from anything else (e.g., "errata page",
> whatever).
>>> ...
>>> Even without a decent example like above, what if someone wanted to
>>> analyze references, perhaps check to see what formats are most used at
>>> various different times?  With first-class format meta-data they could
>>> that with trivial XSLT for all RFCs for which XML source is available.
>>> ...
>> What's used is what's being *used*, thus the server log will be much more
>> interesting...
> I aver that "what was popular to publish back when" is also of
> interest.  But that was just a secondary argument.
> The primary argument is that interesting metadata should be
> first-class.  The whole project is evidence that that's a good idea.
> We should take it as a guiding principle and expect strong
> justification for not applying it in any particular case.

But then, another good principle is not to make the format too 
complicate, otherwise we could just copy docbook.

If the use case is to annotate links then we shouldn't do that using 
custom elements but just annotate the links we have (using @rel and 
@type, just as in HTML; see 

Best regards, Julian

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