[rfc-i] Fwd: New Version Notification for draft-flanagan-plaintext-00.txt

Thomas Clausen ietf at thomasclausen.org
Tue Jun 24 04:42:39 PDT 2014


On Jun 24, 2014, at 13:23, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke at gmx.de> wrote:

> On 2014-06-24 13:04, Dearlove, Christopher (UK) wrote:
>> This does appear to convert plain text from normative to close to useless. At least as the only text version. An unpaginated text version may have uses as a supplementary form rather than a replacement.
>> 
>> Is there going to be a numbered page version with a table of contents with page numbers that I can pick up and print? (PDF?) If so, why not text like that as well?
> 
> It is possible to get proper printouts from HTML with page numbers (in the TOC and in the index), but not from a desktop browser right now (due to missing CSS paged media support). There will likely be a PDF version as well.
> 
> But keep in mind that the page numbers will depend on output formats, so there won't be any unambigious "page 5 of rfc xxxx" anymore. Yes, that's intentional.
> 
>> The current RFC Editor process does pagination as a special extra step at the end. It feels like rather than work out how to do that better, it's being thrown out for convenience of the process rather than the users.
> 
> It's thrown out because it's in conflict with other goals, namely proper support for other output devices than paper.
> 

That does, if you will excuse my violent disagreement, appear like an enormous step backwards in usability: both when writing a specification, when writing an implementation from a specification (especially if actually commenting code), or when reviewing a specification for somebody else, the ability to reference “Page XX line Y” is rather convenient, almost necessary — especially, when collaborating with folks using different output media (of which paper remains an important one, for various reasons….)

I haven’t printed an RFC or an I-D in a decade - and yet, find both page numbers and line numbers to be paramount. 

With my various set of co-authors, while I do *try* to point to “enumerated sections”, we almost always end up “counting lines on a page” at some point in time. I note that other SDOs actually have printed line-numbers in the margin of (at least, their working/intermediate) documents.

While I have deep respect for the “other goals” that you cite, and I agree that we should support different output devices, I respectfully submit that that has nothing to do with the argument being made.

I also respectfully submit that those “other goals” perhaps are given too high a priority here, and I wonder who set those priorities?

>> ...
> 
> Best regards, Julian
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