[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 12:05:36 PDT 2012

On 2012-07-06 20:56, Iljitsch van Beijnum wrote:
> On 6 Jul 2012, at 14:56 , Peter Sylvester wrote:
>> But pretending that xml is rocket science, or a very difficult
>> thing to understand, which needs complicated tools to
>> process, and tehs tools, although open source, will
>> very likely suffer from an enormous maintenance problem
>> because in a few years suddenly all current machines,
>> compilers for all programmnig languages etc will fail
>> and will be replaced.
> Sorry, I don't understand this sentence.
> But you seem to be saying it's ok to require XML. It is not. XML is very complex. I certainly wouldn't want to write a parser for it. Also, XML is useless, because there is nothing that naturally uses XML. Certainly not people, and also very few tools. So we have to train people and write tools just so we get the privilege of using XML. How does that make sense?

Wow. Yes, XML is non-trivial. But there are tons of (well-tested) 
parsers, so you don't *need* to write one. There are also at least three 
independent implementations of processors for the xml2rfc vocabulary.

Also, saying "XML is useless, because there is nothing that naturally 
uses XML" is weird; tons of components use XML; I'm not sure about the 
"naturally" part; could you elaborate on that?

>> In this millenium I don't think that any RFC had been written
>> directly in ASCII only with a simple editor as tool.
> This is of course a false dichotomy. The ASCII used for RFCs is basically what you get when using a typewriter. However, the world has moved on from typewriters to the degree that it's now actually quite hard to make files that are that way, because there is no reasonable reason to do so. It doesn't follow that using a markup language is a good idea, however. I know many people love markup, but I promise you that many more don't understand it, and others can work with it but don't like it. There is a reason word processors don't use it.

Actually, many do, internally.

Best regards, Julian

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