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

Dave Crocker dhc at dcrocker.net
Tue Feb 19 06:25:25 PST 2013

On 2/19/2013 12:16 AM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> "capability for fine-grained references when working with a printable format."
> That's old-fashioned, I know. However, you are advocating fine-grained
> references via anchors, which is:
> "capability for fine-grained references when working with a hypertext format."
> The question before the house is whether we want both of these, or only one.


With the ability to support reflowable text and narrow displays that 
prematurely wrapped the lines of classic text RFCs -- when the font is 
big enough to read -- page numbers have become Procrustean.  They have 
become archaic; imposing them on media forms that don't naturally 
support their consistent presence -- that is, physical page boundaries 
-- is artificial and distracting.

By contrast, section numbers remain constant and inherent.  They are 
motivated by semantic separation, not physical artifact.

(BTW, RFC page numbers have worked for US and A4 pages because US pages 
are shorter than A4.  Had the Internet started in Europe, we'd be having 
A1 page boundaries double the number of printed pages...)

If we have two citable reference structures (page numbers and section 
numbers) then we kill interoperability.  Section numbers work for 
everyone.  Page numbers don't.

  Dave Crocker
  Brandenburg InternetWorking

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