[rfc-i] re: new MS Word template

John C Klensin john+rfc at jck.com
Sat Oct 30 13:04:12 PDT 2004

--On Fri, 29 Oct 2004 17:23:24 -0700 Joe Touch <touch at ISI.EDU>

> Hi, all,
> I have just completed an update to the Word template from RFC
> 3285. It  includes a number of changes, including:
>     o  redefines basic styles (Normal, Heading1, etc.) rather
> than        creating new styles (enables auto-renumbering in
> outline mode        when demoting/promoting)
>     o  updates boilerplate according to RFC 3668
>     o  uses more conventional methods for autonumbered
> references and        figures
> The template and post-processing code, and Internet Draft
> describing  this new version are available at:
> http://www.isi.edu/touch/tools
> (the ID will be published after the IETF).
> Comments and input appreciated.


Based on discussions the last time around, this may be the wrong
thing to do.  Or perhaps not.  Things for you to consider...

(1) While redefining the basic styles will undoubtedly make
things work more smoothly, those types of changes have a
tendency to be irreversible.  That is, for those of us who might
want to use Word for RFCs but who must use it for many other
types of documents according to organizational norms, your
redefining basic types is nearly a showstopper.  That certainly
argues for "fork" in preference to "revision".

(2) I think that, with the advent of Word 2003 and its near-XML
output capability the right way to do things going forward
probably involves building appropriate style sheets and a
Word-MS-XML to RFC 2629bis translator.   That would give us an
archival/ editing form we could deal with and that was not
dependent on particular versions of Word.  It would also deal
with the line length issues and the almost-ASCII character
problems with which the Word template approach has never been
optimal.  If needed, I'd assume that some of us could cobble up
a Word 98/2000/XP -> Word 2003-> MS XML translator on a server
somewhere with little trouble.


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