[rfc-i] Requirement for "clear printing"

George, Wes wesley.george at twcable.com
Wed Feb 20 11:00:40 PST 2013

> From: rfc-interest-bounces at rfc-editor.org [mailto:rfc-interest-
> bounces at rfc-editor.org] On Behalf Of Martin Rex

> Now the problem I have with this is that it wastes tons of engineering
> resources on waste of the eye-candy type.
> so anyone who wants to spend most of his time contributing to the
> IETF in producing colorful eye-candy rather than engineering technical
> solutions, can do so right aways without interfering with those who
> rather want to do work.
> The important thing for the IETF as an SDO is to facilitate it for
> contributors to convey their ideas, without having to spend lots of time
> on document meta-data or creating pretty eye-candy, because that is a
> significant waste of precious engineering resources.
[WEG] We agree on one thing, and one thing only - that IETF's tools and process should facilitate exchange of ideas and forward technical progress rather than be a barrier to it and waste resources. However, that goes both ways. You incorrectly assume that things other than ascii text/art are merely eye candy and are never a more effective way to convey ideas than the current toolset. Sorry to be the one to have to break it to you, but your way is not the only way, and it is certainly not the best way for everyone.

Here's a little reverse "when I was your age"/generation gap reality check: I'm 35 years old and I am by no means the youngest participant in IETF. I was in *middle school* when AOL came out. I'm on the tail end of the generation that even remembers what it's like to use a BBS, Archie, or Gopher, or many other non-GUI things. I learned Eudora before I learned pine, MS Word and Aldus Pagemaker before I learned vi, was proficient on Windows and MacOS long before I ever touched a Solaris box. For those like me who have spent their entire professional careers conveying ideas using the likes of Powerpoint and Visio (both packages are 20+ years old now), the act of dumbing those things down to exist in IETF's ASCII universe (or trying to parse them for understanding when someone else has generated them) is as much of a waste of time as it apparently is for you to generate "eye candy".

Wes George

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