[rfc-i] RFC diff and patch for errata

Sean Leonard dev+ietf at seantek.com
Sat Sep 24 06:09:11 PDT 2016


The topic of errata management has come up in recent weeks.

I was wondering if "RFC diff and patch" for errata would be seen as a 
useful thing. Specifically, errata could be uploaded and saved with an 
additional patch file, that is the output of the industry standard diff 
-u. This would be especially helpful, for example, for correcting errors 
in normative code or notation such as ASN.1, ABNF, XML, YANG, etc.

The main issue with the plain text format is that if not managed 
"judiciously", a patch could cause more than 56 lines (or 58 lines) to 
appear on a page. I assume that it is very undesirable to shift the 
pagination boundaries due to an errata change, so something else would 
have to give for errata that can't be corrected without changes to the 
line count. But I think that 99% of errata can be handled without 
changes to the line count.

The xml2rfc format has other issues, namely the lack of a diff/patch 
tool for XML that rises to the level of "industry standard" akin to diff 
-u. But tools exist.

Regards,

Sean




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