[rfc-i] Embedding stuff (code, etc.) in RFCs

Riccardo Bernardini framefritti at gmail.com
Fri Jul 12 09:40:16 PDT 2013

On Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 6:26 PM, Paul Kyzivat <pkyzivat at alum.mit.edu> wrote:
> Riccardo,
> The approach you propose depends on explicit syntax in a draft, so that file
> content can be identified and extracted. It is complicated by the need to
> disambiguate it visually, and to deal with formatting issues.
> IMO it would be better to extract content from the *markup* document. The
> xml2rfc format already has *some* support for this: the <artwork> element
> has a type attribute. This is already used, by some, to identify some
> content like abnf. And some tools already use this - e.g. to drive syntax
> checkers.
> Of course that mechanism is somewhat rudimentary, and could stand some
> beefing up. But I think it would be a better starting point than trying to
> parse file content out of the draft .txt file.

I agree that maybe starting from the xml would be a higher-level (and
simpler) approach. However, as long as the text file remains the
official RFC format, you can be sure you can get the .txt, but you
cannot be granted having the XML.  For example, in the case of my
draft I uploaded only the .txt.

Actually, the XML could not even exist.  You could edit directly the
text file (Yuk!), you could use nroff or some other formatting tool.
For example, I do not love XML too much and I would prefer a
LaTeX-like syntax for my I-Ds, so I toyed for a while with the idea of
making my LaTeX-based tool (I have a faint memory seeing something
like that, but maybe it was a sleeping project... Faint, faint...).

> What would help would be a mechanism to apply type-specific formatting to
> artwork content when formatting as an RFC. That would allow the "raw"
> content of the artwork to be in "native" format.
> I've been interested in this for a slightly different but related goal: I
> want to extend the abnf syntax to allow reference/importing of ABNF from
> other sources. And I want that to work when the ABNF being referenced is
> embedded in an RFC/draft.
>         Thanks,
>         Paul
> On 7/12/13 11:21 AM, Riccardo Bernardini wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> recently there was a discussion about the problem of publishing source
>> code associated with RFCs. I gave some thought to the problem and
>> developed a general and very light-weight format for embedding code in
>> an RFC that allows for automatic extraction while maintaining the
>> readability of the code. I collected my reflections and my proposal
>> (with the respective software embedded, of course!:) in an I-D
>> http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-bernardini-embedded-code-00.txt
>> The I-D is still a bit rough  and the code is still to be fully
>> tested, but before investing some more time I would like to know if
>> this can be of some interest.  Of course, suggestions and observations
>> (polite ones :-) :-) are welcome.
>> Best regards,
>> Riccardo
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