[rfc-i] Text no longer definitive (was Re: Proposed way forwards on backward compatibility with v2)

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Tue Feb 18 13:40:01 PST 2014


On 19/02/2014 09:15, Nico Williams wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 1:43 PM, Brian E Carpenter
> <brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 19/02/2014 08:04, Dave Crocker wrote:
>>> On 2/18/2014 10:34 AM, Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) wrote:
>>>> Regarding artwork, ASCII or otherwise, the debate as to whether it
>>>> should be normative in an IETF sense is ongoing.  The last time I beat
>>>> my head against that particular wall, I believe the end result was that
>>>> we (the RFC Editor and the IESG) would encourage the use of artwork as
>>>> informative only, but recognize that artwork sometimes must be normative
>>>> to a spec.
>>> wfm.  interesting approach.  tnx.
> And me.  Normative artwork on a case-by-case basis, mostly to be discouraged.
>> I suspect that in practice we have many cases of normative ASCII art
>> for bit layouts; describing bit layouts in English is painful and
>> error-prone, so why bother?
>> (IMNSHO, a bit layout in ASCII art with a fixed-width font is just
>> about as unambiguous as you can get, other than using a formal
>> language.)
> If you're sight-impaired you might not have an easy time reading
> bits-on-the-wire artwork.  RFC793 shows how to get this right.  I
> don't think it's a pain.

That's a matter of opinion, but I suspect that a survey of existing
RFCs would find many that rely on the bit layout diagrams and do
not have the details spelled out as in RFC793. If we're aiming at
the RFC793 level of detail, I think that's a new guideline for the
whole community.


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