[rfc-i] Comments on draft-iab-rfcformatreq

Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) rse at rfc-editor.org
Wed Dec 19 15:44:42 PST 2012

On 12/18/12 4:25 PM, Joe Hildebrand (jhildebr) wrote:
> I think what I suggested last time is we say that authors should be
> reasonable, and leave it to the RSE acting with expert advice to decide
> what constitutes "reasonable" on an ongoing basis.

I agree.  While I understand there is a certain valid concern about
relying on the common sense of the RFC Editor and our advisers, I think
trying to document every variable possible today, tomorrow, and in a
decade is unreasonable..

> The hobbling of some output formats isn't because I don't want those
> formats to be "good", but because I want the RSE to be able to make
> reasonable tradeoffs on time to market, quality, and cost, and because I
> don't want the format that most people will consume to be significantly
> less useful because of the needs of those alternate formats.


> On 12/18/12 5:10 PM, "Joel M. Halpern" <jmh at joelhalpern.com> wrote:
>> Accents may or ma not be 99% prevalent.  Equally, I am sure that there
>> are unicode elements which are missing from 99% of deployed machines.

(A comment not aimed at Joel, but at everyone who uses percentages and
anecdotal information as quantitatively valid...)

As an area that has bitten me in the past, unless someone can actually
point me to a reasonable study on what is and is not prevalent out
there, it's all anecdotal at this point and should not be anywhere close
to the final say in what we do.  That said, I would not want to be the
one to put together a proper questionnaire to get to this information in
a scientifically valid way.  I'm getting enough grey hair as it is!


>> Trying to make rules around the likely prevalence of representability of
>> individual code points in widely deployed scripts seems a recipe for
>> unending grief.
>> Yours,
>> Joel
>> On 12/18/2012 7:06 PM, John R Levine wrote:
>>>> In the draft you point to, would it suffice if you could include the
>>>> actual unicode character in the parenthesis (preferably along with the
>>>> description, but that seems to be a minor detail.)  If so, that would
>>>> seem to preserve readability if some script elements are missing,
>>>> while having enhanced value when they are resent.
>>> Sure, but if it turns out that only 1% of the people reading RFCs are
>>> using devices that can't display accented characters, I think it'd make
>>> more sense just to show the accented characters and do some hack to
>>> insert descriptions or something for people stuck with those old ttys.
>>> Regards,
>>> John Levine, johnl at taugh.com, Taughannock Networks, Trumansburg NY
>>> "I dropped the toothpaste", said Tom, crestfallenly.
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