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

Julian Reschke julian.reschke at gmx.de
Fri Jul 6 11:05:03 PDT 2012

On 2012-07-06 19:54, Martin Rex wrote:
> Julian Reschke wrote:
>> Martin Rex wrote:
>>> ...
>>>> No, it just shows that it's very hard to heuristically detect
>>>> indentations, list items, and artwork.
>>> Nope, it isn't hard at all.
>>> and the heuristics that rfcmarkup uses are anything but rocket science.
>>> The solution doesn't have to be perfect, mind you.
>> If it only works something like 90% of the time, using the output will
>> quickly get annoying. Luckily, we don't have to when the source RFC
>> exists in a more expressive format.
> You're missing the point.  For all *NEW* documents, it would be easy
> to ensure that the heuristics will work 100% of the time.

I still don't think it's easy. Prove me wrong by reversing the 
xml2rfc-to-plaintext conversion reliably.

> ...
>> Believe me, I do care a lot. To the point that I have converted most of
>> the historic RFCs I need to xml format.
> I was more thinking of "caring" in the terms of caring about *others*.
> Such as making an alternative html-ized version accessible online
> (preferably via tools.ietf.org), or distributing app(lication)s that

These are available at greenbytes.de/tech/webdav, and have been for years.

> can more reasonably render on handheld gadgets/fondleslabs the formats
> that are currently available.

These applications are called "web browsers". The nice thing is that 
they come bundled with the operating system nowadays.

> The brokennes of currently available handheld gadgets is mindboggling.
> 20 years ago, computers had 8-bit CPUs with 1Mhz clock and somewhere
> between 8-KByte and 32-KByte memory, and were already able to do a lot
> of other things in addition to rendering ASCII reasonably with that
> few resources.

You still don't understand, apparently.

Displaying plain text is something that isn't done a lot outside 
programmer circles. The world has changed. Manufacturers do not care 
whether their device can display plain/text out of the box. They do care 
about displaying web pages.

> Today we have smartphones with 32-bit CPUs, >200Mhz clocks and
> 512MByte+ memory, and they utterly fail with the trivial task to
> render ASCII reasonably.  Looks like a serious QA problem to me.

I believe we have yet again reached the point where no further 
discussion is useful.

Summary: we have a few people who prefer plain text, nroff, MS Word. 
We'll have to figure out how to move on without convincing them.

Best regards, Julian

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