[rfc-i] Pagination requirements

Iljitsch van Beijnum iljitsch at muada.com
Thu May 24 02:14:13 PDT 2012

On 24 May 2012, at 1:43 , Martin Rex wrote:

> I personally do not believe that making profound CSS & XML skills
> and numerous to-be-written complex tools a prerequisite for
> authoring I-Ds would significantly raise the entry barrier for
> new IETF contributions.

The bar is already fairly high today, because you need to be familiar with uncommon tools to create documents in formatted ASCII directly, or you need to use XML2RFC. I know there is also a Word template, but I have no idea how complete that is, I find it hard to imagine that a template would be able to create the output as needed without additional steps.

About the CSS: there is no need that authors understand how CSS works beyond the ability to use classes and ids in their HTML output, which is extremely simple for anyone who knows HTML. Authors MUST NOT come up with their own CSS constructs for a given RFC, the point is that everyone uses a fixed set of labels that trigger predefined behavior. However, people MAY create their own CSS stylesheets that customize this behavior. Because all RFCs use the same labels, it would be possible to load any RFC in the new format and point to your own stylesheet and have that RFC display the way you want, regardless of who wrote that RFC.

About the HTML: HTML is pretty widely understood (to various levels, of course) and simpler than XML. Having an HTML format display natively in browsers also helps authors.

However, I hope tools will become available to convert between XML-based word processing document formats and the new RFC format so that the middle part of an RFC, which contains most of the text and very little RFC-specific stuff, can be written using a standard word processor and then be converted. Or the other way around: an existing RFC can be converted to something that a word processor understands.

More information about the rfc-interest mailing list