[rfc-i] [IAB Trac] #266: Requirement for "Clear Printing"

Joel M. Halpern jmh at joelhalpern.com
Sun Feb 17 09:07:57 PST 2013

I chatted with Ran.  In my experience, page numbers are very difficult 
references to user for RFCs.  And given that we don't expect all forms 
to have page numbers, they are probably a bad practice, since it would 
seem that even if someone making he reference has a page number, the 
person they are speaking with may not (for example, he email list as a 

It seems to me that we should be more explicit about what we do mea my 
clear printing.  But I do not see that page numbers fit with that.

And no, I don't think we should remove the requirement for clear 
printability.  It may suffice that there be a clearly and easily 
printable format.


On 2/17/2013 3:17 AM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> On 16/02/2013 22:49, Joel M. Halpern wrote:
>> Conversely, why should the canonical format be required to support page
>> numbers?
> I think Ran already answered that - for unambiguous ease of reference
> (especially if a document happens to contain very long sections that
> span more than one page).
>> The underlying requirement we are discussing is for printability.  It
>> does seem to me that we need a clear requirement tat things be
>> printable.  That does not mean it has to have page numbers.  It does
>> seem to me to mean that things should be printable on both US Letter and
>> A4 paper.  (I doubt it means printable on any form factor paper someone
>> happens to have handy.)
> Well no, although a reflowable format could be printed on a wide variety
> of paper sizes. But to me, a requirement for printing on both A4 and
> US Letter only has meaning if you require the same pagination on both;
> otherwise, why bother? And that means that there are page numbers,
> either printed or implied. (I see no particular value in the running
> header and footer, however.)
> Let's be clear, once we allow non-ASCII art and variable width fonts,
> this no longer has anything to do with the number of lines on a page or
> characters per line. We could have a fun conversation about fonts, point
> sizes and kerning.
>> Is it sufficient that there be a printable form? Should we require that
>> all forms be printable?  What other constraints go with "clear"?
> IMHO it is necessary and sufficient that the canonical form prints
> reproducibly on A4 and US Letter using widely available font(s).
>     Brian
>> Yours,
>> Joel
>> On 2/16/2013 3:14 AM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
>>> On 15/02/2013 18:31, Marc Blanchet wrote:
>>>> Le 2013-02-15 à 13:18, Joel M. Halpern a écrit :
>>>>> I guess I am missing something.
>>>>> It seems to me that in terms of how people talk about items within
>>>>> an RFC, I think we would want to encourage use of section and
>>>>> paragraph discussion and discourage use of page discussion, since
>>>>> page clearly will not work for all the people in a discussion.
>>>>> As such, I have trouble seeing why we would want a requirement to
>>>>> make page references work well.
>>>> +1.
>>> Maybe you missed the point that this would be about the canonical format.
>>> Obviously, page numbers and line numbers are irrelevant for a reflowable
>>> format, but where is it written that the reflowable format is the
>>> canonical format?
>>>      Brian

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