[rfc-i] Arguments about markup

Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) rse at rfc-editor.org
Fri Feb 1 12:41:29 PST 2013

On 2/1/13 12:29 PM, Nico Williams wrote:
> In section 2.2.2 I see this:
>    Arguments against a markup language as the Revisable format:
>       *  Having the Revisable format be in a markup language instead of
>          in a simple text-formatting structure ties us in to specific
>          tools and/or tool support going forward.
> This isn't obviously true, and we have existence proofs of it being false.
> Currently we have several markup languages for Internet-Draft
> typesetting that produce XML in the xml2rfc schema, while xml2rfc can
> output roff.  At least one tool can also output LyX/TeX/LaTeX.  So we
> have: a) several markup languages (including two mark-down types, one
> XML, and LyX), b) several typesetting languages (two, really: roff and
> TeX), c), several different tools, d) the ability to convert all of
> the markup inputs to roff, and soon enough we may be able to convert
> in all directions between the markup languages anyways (since this is
> easy to do with XML and XSLT).
> I would also note that there are several tools for typesetting
> directly from XML in the xml2rfc schema -- at least three: xml2rfc
> 1.x, xml2rfc 2.x, and Greenbytes' XSLs.  I intend to eventually
> produce an XSL that outputs LyX with proper formatting, which will
> then allow typesetting to PostScript, DVI, PDF, ... and all in a text
> format editable with $EDITOR but also with a wonderful WYSIWYM GUI.
> This is the existence proof.
> I'd go further: XML is extremely malleable because of XSLT.  It's
> perfectly reasonable to have XML on the one hand as a format used by
> authors and roff/TeX/whatever as an interim step in the RFC-Editor
> editing process.  (Indeed, this is what we do today in many, if not
> most cases.)

Good points, Nico.  Now that the doc is out for IETF Call for Comments,
could you submit the comments and any suggestions you have for alternate
text in to Trac?  It will be easier for me to make sure I have responded
to everything that way and hopefully expedite the process.


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