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

Iljitsch van Beijnum iljitsch at muada.com
Wed May 9 06:55:50 PDT 2012

On 9 May 2012, at 15:41 , Paul E. Jones wrote:

> What is that metadata is needed in the RFC, though?  I'm at a loss for that.  I see the value in having it published separately, as it's something I can use.  The one piece of data I find most useful (what RFCs updated or replaced a given RFC) obviously could not be put into the RFC.

(Can you guys please not quote everything that came before? A little editing goes a long way.)

I think some of us, including myself, have been a bit careless using the word(s) "metadata" in this discussion. What we need most of all is to mark up text that's already there as being the publication date, an author, a reference to an RFC, etc. This allows for much more robust tools because this way we don't have to guess at the meaning of something just from its place in the document.

On 9 May 2012, at 15:34 , Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:

> We would be much more likely to get widespread support for metadata
> that is supported by tools if W3C, OASIS and IETF all agree to do the
> same thing.

Perhaps it would be useful to come up with the intersection of what all of these need and then standardize those elements. I'm going to assume HTML as the basis for such a format. What's mostly needed here is class and id definitions and an agreement on what subset of HTML to use. Each organization can then add more esoteric stuff as needed, and at some point I'm sure common stylesheets and tools will start to appear once thins settle down a bit.

As for the way forward for the RFC format, it's been a while since I saw anyone disagreeing with HTML. If we can make some kind of transform between XML2RFC and a new HTML format (in both directions) we should be in a good position to start some experimentation where people can write drafts in the new format and then use HTML2XML2RFC to derive the current format. Then once we know what we want we really need we can refine the new format to address the issues that exist today with XML2RFC. Coordination with OASIS and W3C can happen concurrently.

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