[rfc-i] Does the canonical RFC format need to be "readable" by developers and others?

Phillip Hallam-Baker hallam at gmail.com
Fri Jul 6 10:28:07 PDT 2012

I remember when we were at CERN there were people who insisted that
every line of code written for every physics experiment had to comply
with the CERNVM variable length limit of 6 characters.

This despite the fact that CERNVM was a single machine and not at all
suited to doing physics work. Not only was it slower than my iPhone
today, it was slower than my workstation at the time. But even though
every linker on every other machine (including most IBMs) could
support 32 character variable names, the requirement was insisted on
by the people in charge.

I suspect that the reason was pretty much the same as the reason that
every shop had to be painted a particular shade of green in Libya
before the revolution, someone wanted to show who was in charge and
forcing people to write even worse FORTRAN than was necessary made
them feel good.

On Fri, Jul 6, 2012 at 12:35 PM, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke at gmx.de> wrote:
> On 2012-07-06 18:17, Martin Rex wrote:
>> Julian Reschke wrote:
>>> Martin Rex wrote:
>>>> Julian Reschke wrote:
>>>>> Martin Rex wrote:
>>>>>> ...
>>>>>> Moving away from plain ASCII is magnitudes easier than moving away
>>>>>> from
>>>>>> XML, which is why ASCII is a pretty good choice in the first place.
>>>>>> ...
>>>>> If moving away from plain ASCII was "easy", it would have happened
>>>>> already.
>>>> rfcmarkup, which produces one HTMLized version of ASCII TXT RFCs and IDs
>>>> accessible under http://tools.ietf.org/html/
>>>> did not need months of mailing list discussions to come into existence,
>>>> and did not require I-D authors to dump their existing authoring tools.
>>> ...and it does only a subset of what we're trying to get.
>>> Yes, you've told us numerous times that it would be easy to extend to do
>>> more, but so far nobody has done that.
>> That it hasn't been done is a clear proof that rendering RFCs / I-Ds
>> on Smartphones is just a Scapegoat.  If someone really cared about it,
>> he could easily have shipped several alternative solutions to this
>> problem by now, as a frontend-side reformatting ("app"), or as
>> an alternative rfcmarkup that provides floatable HTML, rather than
>> spending time on this discussion.
> No, it just shows that it's very hard to heuristically detect indentations,
> list items, and artwork.
> Best regards, Julian
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