[rfc-i] RFC editing tools

Ted Lemon mellon at fugue.com
Wed Dec 5 20:19:14 PST 2012

On Dec 5, 2012, at 8:29 PM, "Martin J. Dürst" <duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp> wrote:
> One way is to abandon the current ASCII-only format. A less radical way is to make it less central and thus be able to tolerate a bit more suboptimal formatting. Another less radical way is to move to an ASCII-only format without the page breaks.

xml2rfc and nroff are both ascii-only, or at least utf8-only.   No binary junk or undocumented formats.   An alien archaeologist thousands of years from now who'd managed to figure out ASCII would have no trouble working out what the in-band markup code did.

We would be right, IMHO, to reject any canonical representation that involved a complicated binary data file format, particularly one that might be undocumented, poorly documented or reverse-engineered.   Such formats are not future-proof.   But I think xml2rfc is just as future-proof as plain ASCII.

> Re. the question of whether all RFCs go through nroff at the RFC Editor: I seem to remember that this was confirmed fairly recently. The other reason besides "final tweaks" is probably inertia: It's not such a bad idea to keep something that's been working for a long while.

Adding nroff markup to xml2rfc-generated text documents is a huge waste, and since the nroff intermediary isn't retained, and there's no machine transform between the xml2rfc and the rfc, information is lost in this process, so that's a _really_ good reason to try to fix it.

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