[rfc-i] On backwards compatibility for v2

Nico Williams nico at cryptonector.com
Mon Feb 10 12:39:38 PST 2014

On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 1:35 PM, Dave Crocker <dhc at dcrocker.net> wrote:
> On 2/10/2014 10:29 AM, Julian Reschke wrote:
>> I still believe that we can get to a reasonable v3 without having to
>> break existing (valid) documents.
> It is very easy to neglect installed base.  (Take a look at IPv6 as a
> particularly unfortunate example; it could have been done as a
> largely-compatible upgrade to v4, rather than forcing an independent stack.)

The universal deployment of IPv6 continues a[slow]pace for reasons
nothing like what are being discussed here.  The analogy is simply not
appropriate.  I won't go on a tangent as to IPv6 here, so I'll stop

I see nothing wrong with: "use the v2 tool for formatting docs in the
v2 schema, use the v3 tool for formatting docs in the v3 schema, use
the v3 schema for all new docs".  The users here can handle that.

> So I suggest declaring backward compatibility an explcit requirement, just
> so no one else gets confused.

I'd rather have a wart-less, clean v3.  But more than that, I think
the people writing xml2rfc's v3 support should really be the ones to
get the most say on this; if it's easy, then fine, if not, not.

> Might even want to say that the conversion tool is for those who happen to
> want to upgrade, but that it isn't required.

If you have an explicit backwards-compat requirement why should there
be a conversion tool?  If there's a conversion tool that users need to
be aware of (when they want the new features), why should there be a
backwards-compat requirement?


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