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

Nico Williams nico at cryptonector.com
Tue Dec 31 12:49:41 PST 2013

On Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 3:08 PM, Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor)
<rse at rfc-editor.org> wrote:
> Hi Nico,
> I am not entirely sure I understand what you are asking for - are you
> talking about the destination of a linkable citation tag within the
> text, the format of the reference and what it should include, or the
> destination of other links (i.e., a link to a specific section in a
> referenced RFC, in addition to the citation)?

I want this: if there are multiple formats of a referenced document
available, then those should be listed in the <reference>.  If some
formats are canonical and others not (yet they are available) then
they should

I'm much less interested in those multiple document formats being
visible in any particular output format of the document containing the
<reference> in question.  Though I would like that.

> If we're talking citations and references, I think the citation should
> always point to the reference section.  The reference itself becomes an
> interesting question.  I think we essentially have 3 options when it
> comes to what we might do with the reference section in the brave new
> world of more-than-text formats for an RFC.

I'm not talking about citations, only <reference> content, and what
consumers of it might do (not counting same-document citations as

> ---
> 1. Have a reference that includes links to all versions of an RFC
> published by the RFC Editor.  Presumably, it would look something like this:
> [RFC9999]  Doe, J. "TCP Packet Delivery via Drones", RFC 9999,
>            April 2020. {XML|HTML|PDF|TXT|EPUB}

This is fine as a matter of rendering choice.  But I'm going more
meta: I want the metadata about the multiplicity of formats to be in
the XML; I care less whether any rendering then uses that metadata
because it suffices that they *could* use that metadata.

> 2. Have a reference that includes a link to the Info Page for an RFC,
> which would also include all the metadata about the document such as
> links to errata, pointers to the IPR page, citation format, etc.
> [RFC9999]  Doe, J. "TCP Packet Delivery via Drones", RFC 9999,
>            April 2020. <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc9999>

Also fine, though I'd like at least one link straight to the document.

(For documents that are supposed to never change once published we
might want a cryptographically-strong hash of the pointed-to document
stored in the <reference> *along* with the URI.)

> 3. Continue as we are today, with no links or URLs pointing to the RFC
> in the reference entry.
> [RFC9999]  Doe, J. "TCP Packet Delivery via Drones", RFC 9999,
>            April 2020.

Also fine.  Again, my concern is about metadata in the XML first and foremost.


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