[rfc-i] Looking for design assistance with the HTML publication format

"Martin J. Dürst" duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp
Fri May 16 01:27:17 PDT 2014

On 2014/05/16 10:28, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> On 16/05/2014 10:21, Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) wrote:
>> On 5/15/14, 12:28 PM, Paul Kyzivat wrote:

>>> I think there are currently *two* HTLM formats:
>>> - the HTML output from xml2rfc

>>> - the "HTMLized" format derived from the .txt
>>> Is the intent to only have one HTML format in the future?
>>> Frankly I prefer the HTMLized format over the generated HTML format.
>>> Maybe that is because it is effectively the txt format with links, so
>>> that it is sufficient to know what the txt format looks like.
>>> Conceivably I might eventually like something else better if I used it
>>> all the time, but I think it will take some beauty contests to decide.

I also lean towards the txt format. One way for me to express why would be:

The HTMLized format is state-of-the-art design-wise for the (extremely 
restricted) medium of typewriter text. The output from xml2rfc is a 
non-designer's attempt to sprinkle a bit of CSS over some HTML.

I think that with a new professional style, which will replace the 
current .txt format as "the output", things should change. I will 
definitely appreciate being able to read I-Ds and RFCs with proportional 

>> I am talking specifically about the HTML output that will be created by
>> the RFC Editor.  The "HTMLized" format derived from the .txt is not
>> something the RFC Editor produces, maintains, or supports.  Whether the
>> IETF chooses to continue creating that document is not my call, but I
>> would like to think the new formats coming out of the RFC Editor will
>> become preferred by the majority of the community, such that
>> tools.ietf.org no longer needs to house alternately rendered RFCs.

I very much hope so, too. But with respect to the 'tools' version, it's 
not only a question of styling. For example tools.ietf.org also has 
Internet-Drafts, and has them well linked with RFCs. Also, it makes the 
newest status information available on the page itself. (I of course 
hope that at least linking and latest status will be available in the 
new format, too.)

> Therefore, the first part of the CSS design is probably to identify the
> features of both of those formats and then to evaluate which of them
> are good, bad or ugly, and also identify which features are missing.

Also which features work together well and which not.

> I don't think CSS experts are needed for that part, in fact.

Yes, not necessarily for that part. And not even necessarily for the 
actual graphical design itself, although these days it should be 
difficult to find a graphic designer who doesn't also have at least a 
general understanding of what CSS can do and what not.

Regards,   Martin.

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