[rfc-i] Pagination requirements

Iljitsch van Beijnum iljitsch at muada.com
Tue May 15 08:50:26 PDT 2012

On 15 May 2012, at 17:18 , Martin Rex wrote:

>> Why are page references so much better than section references
>> that we need to have pages in the canonical format?

> Because there are numerous sections that span multiple pages, and
> it is really helpful when you can specify locations in a specification
> with reasonable proximity -- and that page-based location information
> remains valid across all display devices.

So what you're saying is that it's a good tradeoff for readers of ALL RFCs on ALL devices where the page length and the display length are not identical to be annoyed dozens of times when reading an RFC because they have to navigate across superfluous page boundaries in order to make it easier to accommodate the very occasional situation where someone wants to refer to the middle of a long section that the author couldn't be bothered to break up in subsections?

I would argue that if the desire arises to refer to text that doesn't start very soon after a section header, the author has done a bad job.

I would also think that referring to text is only necessary when it's too long to quote, which makes it even more likely that referring to an entire section is more than good enough.

And although deep study or review of an RFC or draft may happen using a hardcopy, I think most referrals will be followed in electronic form, preferably through a hyperlink. In that case, page numbers aren't the most obvious mechanism.

Perhaps an example of where the omission of page numbers would be problematic would help.

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