[rfc-i] Wes George review of rfcformatreq

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Fri Dec 28 00:03:50 PST 2012


>  Generally, what I read from the discussion of the canonical form is that
>  this is the lowest common denominator format – readable on the largest
>  variety of devices, and the baseline from which other presentations
>  (optimized for a given device or display) are derived, likely using
>  metadata to augment the display as appropriate.

I'm all for improving readability, but for the IETF stream, the
canonical format is also the normative reference format, so all
normative information must be present in the canonical form of an RFC.
That means we must be very clear whether features such as colour or
greyscale are required to be supported. I say not, because they are
too complex and subject to varying definitions to be used for normative
purposes (as in "The protocol elements shown in pink are OPTIONAL
and those shown in red are MANDATORY").

In other words, for every feature we let into the canonical format,
the IETF stream will need a statement like "This feature MUST NOT be
used to indicate normative information" or "This feature MAY be used
to indicate normative information". I think that argues for minimalism
in the feature set.

   Brian Carpenter

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