[rfc-i] RFC editing tools

Joe Hildebrand (jhildebr) jhildebr at cisco.com
Sat Dec 8 23:18:55 PST 2012

On 12/7/12 9:29 AM, "Ted Lemon" <mellon at fugue.com> wrote:

>I've read your draft.   It's a great description of how to present RFCs
>using HTML.   However, I don't like it as a canonical representation,
>because of the way it handles metadata‹for example, it requires a person
>editing the raw document manually maintain section numbering and linking.

It's not clear from the doc text, but as an author, I didn't add or
maintain any of that linking myself.  The tooling is pretty trivial to fix
all of that up.

>This problem can of course be addressed using a tool that parses the
>document, extracts the metadata, and lets the user edit it in a WYSIWYG

I don't know why you would ever edit section numbering by hand, even in

>However, in order to make this as html-like as possible‹to push it to the
>point where the canonical representation renders without modification in
>a browser‹you have bent over backward.   The resulting canonical form
>confuses presentation and representation, and as a result it will be
>difficult to parse in comparison to xml2rfc.

I agree that the current form blurs presentation and representation, and
I'm open to other HTML representations.  However, this doesn't seem *that*
complex a regular expression in practice:

/^(Appendix [A-Z]+\.)?([\d\.]+)?\s+/

>Not is coding the parser for this representation harder, but it also
>creates the possibility of unanticipated gaps in the specification that
>we will discover later.   The simpler the format is, the less likely it
>is that we will run into that problem.
>You also propose that the IETF define new HTML extensions to handle the
>xml2rfc author tag and sub-tags, which is really out of scope for the
>IETF‹that's more of a w3c thing.   Of course we can write up a doc and
>present it to the w3c, but how likely is it to gain adoption and wind up
>in a browser?

I really didn't intend to define new HTML tags.  I thought that I had been
pretty careful about picking tags that were both standardized and
widely-implemented.  Could you please give me an example of what you're
talking about so I can fix it?

Joe Hildebrand

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