[rfc-i] Pagination requirements

Joe Touch touch at isi.edu
Thu May 24 10:52:43 PDT 2012

On 5/24/2012 10:39 AM, Peter Saint-Andre wrote:
> On 5/24/12 11:17 AM, Joe Touch wrote:
>> On 5/24/2012 8:31 AM, Peter Saint-Andre wrote:
>>> On 5/24/12 9:21 AM, Joe Touch wrote:
>>>> a usable printout is more important than a pretty phone display.
>>> Staying at the level of dueling opinions, I find it passing strange that
>>> the *Internet* Engineering Task Force would optimize for print. IMO the
>>> ability to view our specifications on a myriad of devices connected to
>>> the Internet is more important than a usable printout.
>>> Peter
>> There are good reasons:
>> a) specs and docs are still printed out
>> b) I'm not claiming it's *more* important, but that we should be very
>> careful about trading inconvenience on one device for inconvenience on
>> another.
> That statement puzzles me a bit. Yes, I do print specs once in a while,
> but especially since I was on the IESG and needed to read hundreds of
> pages of specs every two weeks, I started to read online all the time
> (and yes, sometimes even on my phone during IETF meetings to quickly
> check a particular point in a spec while waiting in a hotel lobby). The
> current canonical format is so unfriendly in those environments (even on
> a "normal" laptop screen) that the inconvenience factor seems to me way
> beyond what's acceptable. By constrast, I on those rare occasions when I
> do print a spec, I can do so using the .txt version, the tools.ietf.org
> HTML format, or a more native HTML format (xml2html output, W3C HTML
> format, XSF HTML format) with no effective difference in print
> quality... in my experience, naturally -- YMMD.

Why does this statement puzzle you?

*YOU* choose to read these on electronic devices.

*YOU* find the .txt hard to read on a laptop.

I don't know what source format you use, but I'm guessing not Word, so 
I'll assume either nroff or xml2rfc.

*I* choose to review them on printouts, esp. since it's a lot easier to 
jump back/forth between sections and make written comments as I go.

*I* read the current .txt format just fine on an iPad and on a laptop, 
as well as on a desktop.

*I* also edit using a WYSIWYG editor right now.

Right now, there's inconvenience for you on devices that are already 
limited. If we shift to HTML, there's inconvenience for me *on devices 
that are not inherently limited* - as an author during document 
creation, or printing out the HTML (until someone shows otherwise).

It's clear that none of us is going to be completely satisfied with a 
single format. I hope that we can converge on a set of source formats 
that we're OK with, a canonical format that those can all generate, and 
a set of output formats that the RFC editor can generate that we're all 
OK with. That would be a step forward where there's LESS overall 

Any alternative that *trades* inconvenience - ESPECIALLY to support 
devices that are inherently limited anyway - is not a step forward.


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