[rfc-i] RFC Format - final requirements and next steps

Julian Reschke julian.reschke at gmx.de
Tue May 15 12:17:43 PDT 2012

On 2012-05-15 21:06, Martin Rex wrote:
> Dave Crocker wrote:
>> Martin Rex wrote:
>>> Page numbers are extremely useful!
>> Only when they relate to pages.  As soon as we go to a format that
>> adapts to screen size, the concept of "page" becomes largely relatively
>> or otherwise so artificial as to be distracting (IMO).
> That seems to be confusing a very local concept of pages with
> pages of a document.

It's just the difference between pre-pagination for a specific page size 
vs pagination on the display device.

> When run Acrobat Reader, it doesn't matter how small the window
> is or how large I zoom in, the page number at the top always
> refers to the page in term of canonical pre-pagination -- and
> how often many times the document fits into the current window
> size at the currently active zoom factor is _completely_ irrelevant.

Yes. And I personally believe that makes that kind of pagination almost 
useless. It's nice for displaying something that is *supposed* to be 
printed at some point of time, but that's all.

Also keep in mind that PDFs, when generated properly, *can* have 
reflowable text.

>> And in variable presentation environments page number, the visible
>> 'location' on my display is likely to be different from yours.
> Why should this be any different for small devices?

It is. Try an eBook reader.

> Are there really PDF visualization tools for small devices
> that display a screen-size&zoom-factor dependent "how many pgdowns
> to the end of the document" rather than the current page number of the
> pre-pagination where the currently displayed part of the
> document originates?

I don't know about PDF; PDF is a page-description format, so I don't see 
how your question is relevant.

>> With that kind of presentation variability, section numbers become a
>> better reference.
>>> You're confusing a means for grouping information by topic (=sections)
>>> and location information for the purpose of easy navigation (=pages).
>> Sections define location, too.
> Section numbers define information grouping.

And location.

> When you say "I am from country xyz", "I am from state rst" or even
> "I live in city uvw" then this is "group information",
> if you say "I live at GPS coordinates Lat aaa.bb.cc and Long ddd.ee.ff",
> then this is location information.

The only difference I see is in precision. Sometimes a page number is 
more precise, sometimes a section number.

> And while the former conveys useful information, it is regularly
> insufficient for meeting appointments.  Introducing artificial requirements
> such as "all cities MUST be smaller than 1 acre" so that the name of the city
> can be (ab)used as location information does not seem like a good idea.

Martin, with all due respect, the comparisons you come up with aren't 
really helpful.

We don't need page numbers for reference. There are many ways to do 
references better, section numbers are just one of these. Others are 
numerated paragraphs, or named anchors provided at document generation time.

Best regards, Julian

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