[rfc-i] Comments on draft-hildebrand-html-rfc-2012-07-07 and draft-hoffman-rfcformat-canon-others-03

Yoav Nir ynir at checkpoint.com
Mon Jul 30 18:08:34 PDT 2012

On Jul 30, 2012, at 2:06 PM, Tim Bray wrote:

> My first really careful review of these documents, let’s call them “hoffman” and “hildebrand” for short.
> First: Both could work.
> Hildebrand omits a lot of details about workflow and assignment of tasks that is usefully covered in hoffman.   I think my ideal outcome would the the workflow and polices described in hoffman, only with a canonical format as described in hildebrand, as opposed to the much-hated rfc2xml format.  

I don't agree that XML2RFC is much-hated. 

If I create a document in XML2RFC I can process it with the xml2rfc program, and get something that looks like a valid RFC.

HTML can create things that look like RFCs, but it can create things that do not look like RFCs at all.

For example, looking at the HTML for the sample draft, you can see that the section numbers are actually written inside the HTML file, for example;

<div id='mustard' class='section'>
        <h3><a class='self-ref' href='#mustard'>1.3.</a> Terminology</h3>
        <p id='mustard-p-1'>The key words "<span class='rfc2119'>MUST</span>", "<span class='rfc2119'>MUST NOT</span>", "<span class='rfc2119'>REQUIRED</span>", "<span class='rfc2119'>SHALL</span>", "<span class='rfc2119'>SHALL NOT</span>", "<span class='rfc2119'>SHOULD</span>", "<span class='rfc2119'>SHOULD NOT</span>", "<span class='rfc2119'>RECOMMENDED</span>", "<span class='rfc2119'>NOT RECOMMENDED</span>", "<span class='rfc2119'>MAY</span>", and "<span class='rfc2119'>OPTIONAL</span>" in this document are to be interpreted as described in <a class='ref' href='#rfc:2119'>RFC 2119</a>.</p>

What is to stop anyone from creating two sections numbered 1.3?  If you insert a section, you'd have to renumber all the following sections. Sure, I can have a Word template or even the xml2rfc program generate them, and that's fine, but I think the fact that editing this is hard makes it a poorer choice than xml2rfc.


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