[rfc-i] Requirement for "clear printing"

Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) rse at rfc-editor.org
Wed Feb 20 10:12:53 PST 2013

On 2/19/13 8:55 AM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> On 19/02/2013 15:46, Julian Reschke wrote:
>> On 2013-02-19 16:37, Ted Lemon wrote:
>>> On Feb 19, 2013, at 10:19 AM, Tim Bray <tbray at textuality.com> wrote:
>>>> Yeah, but there's no real utility in it, because once there's a
>>>> decent HTML version available, only Martin Rex will still be using
>>>> the legacy ASCII, so there'll be nobody for him to talk about page
>>>> numbers with
>>> I doubt he's the only one, and it's easy to accommodate him, so why
>>> not do it?
>> I have my doubts about "easy to accomodate". Right now, the RFC Editor
>> spends time to optimize vertical whitespace for page breaking in
>> text/plain. I think it would be good to get rid of this waste of time.
> It's a lot harder to do with variable-width multi-font etc etc.
> Also, if we do it, it's really pointless if the pagination is
> different on International Standard A4 paper and local standard
> US Letter, because "foreigners" would not be able to trade page
> numbers with anyone in the USA.

There are many reasons why we strongly recommend that people do not use
page numbers as their points of reference.  Yes, I know it is done, but
it is fraught with potential for misunderstanding and misdirection and
making any kind of requirement for it is, I believe, not a good idea.

> I've been trying to tie the discussion down to specifics, but I
> think it's now fairly clear to me that
> a) "Clear printing" is too vague, and we should say something more
> like "Easily legible printing on A4 or US Letter size paper,
> whenever possible without splitting figures and tables."

I think something as simple as just removing the word "clear" makes this
a workable and reasonable requirement.

> b) There is a separate question of whether we also require
> identical pagination on those two paper sizes.

Do not want to go here.

> c) There is a separate question whether we also require
> fine-grain markers such as paragraph numbers.

Really do not want to go here, nor to line numbers for that matter.  I
believe both make documents more difficult to read, and particularly
when combined with section numbers, find them entirely too confusing.  I
do think the Style Guide will need to have some specific guidance
regarding the length of sections.


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