[rfc-i] Proposed way forwards on backward compatibility with v2

Paul Hoffman paul.hoffman at vpnc.org
Mon Feb 17 11:39:12 PST 2014

Greetings. Given the differing views on backward compatibility with v2, I have a proposed plan (partially originating from Joe Hildebrand):

- Don't remove anything from v2 in v3. Instead, add in something that is better and mark the v2 method as "deprecated".

- Specify that the canonical RFCs will not have any markup that uses the deprecated format.

- Specify that the processor have a "convert with warnings" mode that will convert a v2 document to a v3 document that converts deprecated elements wherever possible, issuing warnings for where it cannot convert.

- Say that, if there is ever a v4 format, it is possible for the deprecated bits from v2 will be removed at that time.

The "wherever possible" in the third bullet comes from the current proposal to remove <vspace>. We can do that with new list elements, but <vspace> was also used in other contexts, as Julian pointed out on rfc-interest yesterday. In those cases, the processor would issue warnings with line numbers and maybe even suggestions for what they are doing wrong. The processor could also have a "strict" mode that would throw errors if some XML has any deprecated elements.

Do people here like this proposal? If there is agreement I should try this, I would revert all of the non-backwards-compatible changes, mark things as deprecated and indicate the newer way of doing them. For lists, I would then go to HTMLish lists like <ul>, <ol>, and so on.


--Paul Hoffman

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