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

Julian Reschke julian.reschke at gmx.de
Sat Jul 7 08:10:30 PDT 2012

On 2012-07-07 17:02, Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:
> In practice it is very easy to find HTML editors that do not muck
> stuff up as all of us who have produced W3 drafts know.

Example? I'd like to try.

> It is also very easy to take HTML and throw out the crap using a tool
> that removes unwanted stylesheets, etc etc. You can even use Word with
> that approach.

Throwing unwanted stuff out is indeed easy. What's a bit harder is to 
normalize the document structure.

> The XML2RFC format is not a good document format. The designer seems
> to have decided to do things their way without any good reason not to
> follow the HTML approach. So things that are easy in HTML, like lists
> require reference to manuals. Why they chose to use <t> instead of <p>
> and so on? Its like the inventor was deliberately trying to make the
> thing different and hard.

I wasn't around, but my guess is that if you name things the same way, 
people will assume they are the same.

And yes, lists are a weak point.

> That said, XML2RFC exists and is somewhat tailored to IETF documents
> so it makes a reasonable interchange format, albeit a rather tedious
> one and it is a fixed point that is not going to change over time
> unless IETF requirements change.

We can both change the requirements and the vocabulary.

> So just think of it as CLR or Java bytecode for IETF documents. The
> only people who have to use it raw are the compilers (editors).

No problem with that :-)

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