[rfc-i] Making the XML available

Heather Flanagan rse at rfc-editor.org
Tue Mar 5 13:00:16 PST 2019

Hi all,

I would add one more thing, with regards to the current XML files. XML files, where we have them today (which is not for everything) are not necessarily indicative of the final text. Changes may have been made in nroff prior to publication. Rather than potentially distribute incorrect material, we make it available per RFC upon request, which gives us an opportunity to make sure the recipient understands they may not be getting the final content of the RFC.

This will change, as Joel noted, in the v3 format world, but that won’t reflect back to any RFCs published before we go live with v3.


> On Mar 5, 2019, at 15:39, Joel M. Halpern <jmh at joelhalpern.com> wrote:
> We are in the process of shifting to make the XML
> 1) The normative form
> 2) used to generate all other forms
> 3) Available directly
> As such, why would we mess with trying to adjust / improve the current process when we hope to get away from it ASAP.
> Yours,
> Joel
>> On 3/5/19 3:36 PM, Kent Watsen wrote:
>> Hiya.
>> The request is if the IETF could also make the final (post Auth48) XML for RFCs available?
>> The motivation is twofold:
>> 1. To better support extracting content from RFCs.
>>      * current approach is to extract content (i.e. source code
>>        inclusions, such as YANG modules) from the plain-text, but this
>>        is not ideal and, not for lack of trying, does not result in
>>        perfect extractions (indents, outdents, extra lines, etc.).
>> 2. To better support kick-starting a "biz" draft.
>>      * current approach is for authors to use the last posted revision
>>        of the draft, that which the IESG approved, but this version
>>        does not include any changes made by the copy editors.
>> It is understood that, today, the XML is used to generate the `nroff` format, and that final adjustments are made there.  It is assumed that the adjustments being made there are minor (e.g., pagination, flow, etc.) as, from experience, XML is used throughout the Auth48 process.
>> The request is to make this last XML version available.
>> Since this XML is not the final version, there may be hesitation to publish it as another official "output" format.   To address this inconsistency, could language surrounding the link (e.g., a click-thru popup) be used to disclose it?
>> Alternatively, maybe no link is required, so long as it's well-known how to construct the URL to access it.  For example:
>> Given that:
>>  * Text     ----> https://tools.ietf.org/rfc/rfcXXXX.txt
>>  * PDFs   ----> https://tools.ietf.org/pdf/rfcXXXX.pdf
>>  * HTML  ----> https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfcXXXX
>> So, maybe:
>>  * XML    -----> https://tools.ietf.org/xml/rfcXXXX.xml
>>  * or        -----> https://tools.ietf.org/xml/rfcXXXX.xml
>> If only a well-known URL were made available, extraction-tools and bis-authors (per 1 and 2 above) would have what they need, without exposing the XML to the general public.
>> PS: I'm unsure if this is the best place to ask this question, so please bounce this message to another list if needed.
>> Thanks,
>> Kent
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