[rfc-i] terminology: format vs representation, was: Input Syntax vs Canonical Form/rfcedstyle vs Output Formats [was: Re: Comments on draft-hoffman-xml2rfc-06]

Julian Reschke julian.reschke at gmx.de
Sat Jun 14 04:42:55 PDT 2014

On 2014-05-04 23:09, Paul Hoffman wrote:
> ...
>>    2.  The document's reference to 'formats' is really to
>> 'representations', which is a meaningful difference.  Formatting is
>> about layout.  Representation is really at the level of different
>> language; html vs xml is not a matter of format, but of representation.
>> The semantic difference in terms is more than mere quibbling, IMO.
>> When referring to other representations the document should say say
>> something like "other representations' or "non-xml2rfc representations"
>> or the like.  But again, I'm not clear why /this/ document needs to make
>> many or any such references.  In any event, within a document like this,
>> saying 'canonical' as the reference for what is being defined is too
>> abstract.
> Good catch. The next draft will use "representation" when talking about the files published.
> ...

A big -1.

When the spec (in this case: v2) it *is* about formats, as in "file 
format". To use a different term here is totally confusing.

(I'm bringing this up now because I noticed that the v3 and v2 documents 
now disagree on the terminology, and I strongly believe that v2 uses the 
right term)

Best regards, Julian

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