[rfc-i] For v3: remove <format>?

Paul Hoffman paul.hoffman at vpnc.org
Thu Dec 26 13:16:15 PST 2013

On Dec 26, 2013, at 11:38 AM, Nico Williams <nico at cryptonector.com> wrote:

> On Thu, Dec 26, 2013 at 1:18 PM, Paul Hoffman <paul.hoffman at vpnc.org> wrote:
>> On Dec 26, 2013, at 11:02 AM, Nico Williams <nico at cryptonector.com> wrote:
>>> On Thu, Dec 26, 2013 at 8:14 AM, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke at gmx.de> wrote:
>>>> On 2013-12-24 08:28, Nico Williams wrote:
>>>>> I'd like a way to link to different formats of the same referenced
>>>>> document.
>>>> You can do that inside <annotation>.
>>> This needs to be first-class.
>> Why? I imagine that it is the reference, not the formats, that is important in the RFC.
> Because some of the formats we'll render to (e.g., HTML, but also PDF)
> will have clickable links, and it'd be nice to have (in superscript,
> or in parenthesis) alternate format links for the same reference.

Sorry, I wasn't clear. Assuming that all the links we want will auto-generated from the <seriesInfo> element, why does <annotation> need to be first class?

> For example... references to RFCs!  It'd be nice if the HTML rendering
> of an RFC's references had clickable links to the canonical format
> (today: .txt) of each referenced RFC and additional clickable links
> for the HTML and PDF renderings of the referenced RFC.

Wouldn't it be better to link to the RFC information page that has those links *plus* errata and additional metadata?

> The principle should be that as much meta-data as possible is
> first-class, not buried in non-machine-parseable annotations.  I
> shouldn't need to come up with an example for this principle to be
> applied.  One should have to justify not following this principle.  It
> isn't an arbitrary principle; it's the reason that we have an XML
> input format in the first place, and it's a reason we're trying to
> improve the schema.

It's not clear that "three different ways to get this reference" is really metadata, particularly for references to other SDOs where one link might lead to an updatable version of the reference. My preference would be to make <seriesInfo> as robust as needed for the canonical XML, and then use the processors to generate the specific links we want for references.

> Even without a decent example like above, what if someone wanted to
> analyze references, perhaps check to see what formats are most used at
> various different times?  With first-class format meta-data they could
> that with trivial XSLT for all RFCs for which XML source is available.

That seems like optimizing for a far edge case, particularly because that researcher could just look in the XML, not the HTML.

--Paul Hoffman

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