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

Sandro Hawke sandro at w3.org
Fri May 11 09:45:54 PDT 2012

[re-sending, now that I'm subscribed to rdf-interest.  I'm not sure how
you thought two lists could talk to each other, Larry, when one of them
refuses postings from people not already on it...]

On Wed, 2012-05-09 at 08:57 -0400, Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:
> For example, it should be possible to cut an paste a citation from one
> document to another in such a way that tools are able to reformat it
> to apply whatever deranged nonsense of a citation format is required
> at the other end. I don't see that as existing.
> Pretty much every tool there is to manage citations sucks. I have
> tried end note and it sucks because it is an afterthought. The
> citation handling in Word is stovepiped to a few formats that are all
> stupid and few other things bother at all.
> It really should not be difficult, A 'database' of citations should
> require no more than an HTML document with a list of citations.

Just following on this thread, for now, here's a somewhat extreme
strawman, which probably shows my W3C bias.

How about having the citations and references section all generated
automatically?  Have the generator use:

  1. The HTML links going out of the document

  2. Some indicator of whether a particular outbound link target
     should not be considered a citation, or if it is one, whether it
     should be considered non-normative.  In HTML this could be done
     with a class attribute; alternatively, it could be done via a
     list of URLs somewhere in the document metadata.
  3. Some URL->Citation databases.  Ideally, all the citation
     information could be found by dereferencing the URL and looking
     at standard metadata.  Until then, some databases can backfill
     that information.  I'd hope we could suffice with one of these
     databases at W3C and one for the RFCs.  I'd hope they could use
     the same format.

In the case of wanting to cite something which has no plausible URL, I
suggest one be created, giving some useful information about the cited
item for people who do not have access to a suitable library.

   -- Sandro

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