[rfc-i] FW: IETF RFC format <-> W3C pubrules

Larry Masinter masinter at adobe.com
Tue May 8 19:45:30 PDT 2012

I was reluctant to do this, but I think rfc-interest and spec-prod should meet.

There is a great diversity of people involved in both IETF  and W3C, and some incredulity in both organizations about the other's willingness, interest, or capabilities of coordination, to pick unfairly tow examples:

 From RFC-interest  http://www.rfc-editor.org/pipermail/rfc-interest/2012-May/003486.html 
 From spec-prod http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/spec-prod/2012AprJun/0011.html

Let's move beyond that.

I think there are a common set of requirements for archivable, accessible, Unicode, hyperlinked, reliably printable technical specifications suitable for standardization, as well as some unique requirements of each organization in order to deal with differing legacy, audiences, and compatibility requirements.

I think both organizations have a combination of paid staff and substantial help from volunteers.



-----Original Message-----
From: Bjoern Hoehrmann [mailto:derhoermi at gmx.net] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2012 6:52 PM
To: Iljitsch van Beijnum
Cc: Larry Masinter; rfc-interest at rfc-editor.org
Subject: Re: [rfc-i] FW: IETF RFC format <-> W3C pubrules

* Iljitsch van Beijnum wrote:
>On 8 May 2012, at 20:20 , Larry Masinter wrote:
>> One of the tools is ReSpec.js  http://dev.w3.org/2009/dap/ReSpec.js/documentation.html
>> which might be adaptable for IETF use.
>Although it would seem to make sense for the two to work together,
>wouldn't it be a huge liability for both of them to depend on the other
>for something so crucial?

RFC 2629 (the xml2rfc format) has been around for about as long as I
have been involved with the W3C and the IETF. `xml2rfc` is still alive
and kicking, with very broad adoption. In contrast, the W3C has used
any number of formats and toolchains during the period. As the people
who made or maintained the formats and toolchains lose interest, the
formats and the toolchains die "quickly". I'd suggest to keep in mind
that the IETF output is an order of magnitude greater than that of the

The W3C is also unlikely to coordinate tool development with non-W3C
parties. For instance, HTML Tidy http://tidy.sf.net/ originated there,
but maintenance of the tool became a problem, so a couple of people,
including myself, took over maintenance and development in form of a
SourceForge project. The W3C showed no interest in that over the years
until last year, when I published a patch for rudimentary "HTML5" sup-
port. Then the W3C took the latest sources and my patch, and created a
fork, publicized it, and has since "maintained" the fork in a manner
incompatible with established practises and goals of the SourceForge
project. The W3C made no attempt whatsoever to announce, discuss, or
otherwise coordinate their fork with the HTML Tidy project, including
no attempts to express dissatisfaction prior to their hostile take-
over. And while I very explicitly asked for feedback when I published
my patch for "HTML5" support they used to create their fork -- and they
certainly seem to have found issues with it -- no feedback ever made
its way into my inbox.

So I would not see this as a "huge liability", just as, plainly, silly.
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern at hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Am Badedeich 7 · Telefon: +49(0)160/4415681 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
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