[rfc-i] Text rendering of <spanx style=verb> and <tt>

Paul Hoffman paul.hoffman at vpnc.org
Mon Dec 17 07:32:32 PST 2018


On 16 Dec 2018, at 21:02, Jeffrey Yasskin wrote:

> Right now, xml2rfc's text output renders RFC7749's <spanx style=verb>
> and RFC7991's <tt> by surrounding the contents with double quotes (").
> This is ambiguous with actual quoted strings in the body of the RFC.
>
> This confused an area director in the review of CDDL
> (https://mozphab-ietf.devsvcdev.mozaws.net/D4234#inline-7837), and has
> led to an apparent consensus in the HTTPWG not to use these pieces of
> the XML markup at all
> (https://github.com/httpwg/http-extensions/pull/738).
>
> It seems silly to leave traps like this, where a piece of markup is
> defined, and useful in the HTML output, but actually forbidden in any
> RFC that wants to be published.

Agree.

> An ASCII alternative could be to wrap the contents in backticks (`)
> instead of quotes, but this would break any v2 documents that describe
> the effect of <spanx style=verb> in words. Doing it for just v3 (<tt>)
> might force the automatic v2->v3 conversion to leave <spanx
> style=verb> alone instead of converting that to <tt>.

For ASCII output of v2, the definition of <spanx style=verb>, the 
definition is:
    verb  "Verbatim" text (usually displayed using a monospaced
       font face).

For ASCII output of v3, the definition of <tt> is:
    Causes the text to be displayed in a constant-width font.  This
    element can be combined with other character formatting elements, 
and
    the formatting will be additive.

In ASCII output for both v2 and v3, the text is already in a monospaced 
or constant-width font.

> Do folks have other ideas for removing the trap? Do folks agree that
> the trap is worth removing?

The way to remove the trap is to not add anything to the ASCII output 
for <spanx style=verb> or <tt>, and only use those tags for changing 
HTML or other outputs.

--Paul Hoffman


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