[rfc-i] Proposed new RFC submission requirements

Phillip Hallam-Baker hallam at gmail.com
Fri May 25 19:51:35 PDT 2012

Would it help to distinguish between the authoring format and the
submission format?

I could not give a hoot what the authoring format is that people use.
No really, knock yourself out engraving it into little stone pyramids
if you like.

What is of significance is the submission format(s) and the internal format.

It almost certainly makes best sense for the IETF tools to use a
single format internally even if multiple submission formats are
supported. So that format might be XML2RFC, or HTML or even nroff. All
that matters is that the submission format be machine parseable to
identify the various elements (sections, abstract, boilerplate, etc.)
and that the internal format is not lossy.

So I don't think we should argue over the internal format at all. Let
the tools group decide on that according to what is easiest for them.

I don't think we need argue XML2RFC or HTML as a submission format
either since we can already turn XML2RFC into something very close to
what we want for the other and we need to be able to convert in the
reverse direction anyway to know we can round-trip.

So if someone really wanted Word to be a submission format, that would
be fine as well. All they would need to do is provide an appropriate
filter that can be added to the site. Same for LaTeX or for anything
that seemed to be reasonable and had a user base and could capture the

So if people wanted to continue to write RFCs in traditional format,
they would just need to provide the filter that can robustly scrape
the text to recover the metadata, identify sections etc. etc.

Given the number of nits that the plaintext format has created for the
rest of us, I don't think this is an unreasonable position at all.

More information about the rfc-interest mailing list