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

Nico Williams nico at cryptonector.com
Thu Dec 26 21:42:40 PST 2013

On Thu, Dec 26, 2013 at 3:17 PM, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke at gmx.de> wrote:
> On 2013-12-26 20:38, Nico Williams wrote:
>> 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.
>> 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.
> I don't understand why that's desirable, but you can do that today with
> <annotation>.

First, I had no idea about <annotation>.  (oops)

Second, <annotation> is for including free-form prose.  *ref elements
can also appear inside an <annotation>, but, so what, since they'd be
surrounded by free-form prose there'd be no way to distinguish
"alternate format link" from anything else (e.g., "errata page",

>> ...
>> 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.
>> ...
> What's used is what's being *used*, thus the server log will be much more
> interesting...

I aver that "what was popular to publish back when" is also of
interest.  But that was just a secondary argument.

The primary argument is that interesting metadata should be
first-class.  The whole project is evidence that that's a good idea.
We should take it as a guiding principle and expect strong
justification for not applying it in any particular case.


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