[rfc-i] Graceful degradation is key, was: Re: draft-hildebrand-html-rfc

Phillip Hallam-Baker hallam at gmail.com
Sat Jul 14 08:17:28 PDT 2012

You still use a command line? How quaint.

On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 11:13 AM, Iljitsch van Beijnum
<iljitsch at muada.com> wrote:
> On 14 Jul 2012, at 16:36 , Tim Bray wrote:
>> > So the difference between regular and italic text can't be semantically meaningful, because that difference isn't there on some character based terminals
>> I haven't seen anyone using a "character based terminal" in at least a decade. Anyone.
> I still hope to be able to log on to my Mac on my VT420 terminal some day... I haven't found the right getty configuration so far, though.
> The reason why _compatibility_ with text terminals is still necessary even though text terminals themselves are no longer in use, is that the command line largely behaves like a text based terminal. Removing the ability to comprehend an RFC fully through the command line interface means removing the ability to use command line tools like grep in many cases.
> The big jump is from formatted ASCII to a markup language based format (or even PDF or some such). Let's make that jump without going overboard can severing all ties to the past. A few years down the road when we've gained some experience with the new format, we can always drop compatibility if that seems like a good idea at that point.
> For what we're doing now, I think it would be enormously helpful to be able to generate RFCs in the old format from the new format without losing anything meaningful.
> If that means that some math guys still can't express themselves the way that comes natural to them in RFCs, I can live with that.
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