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

Dave Crocker dhc at dcrocker.net
Sat Jun 14 07:30:49 PDT 2014

On 6/14/2014 3:46 PM, Julian Reschke wrote:
> On 2014-06-14 14:30, Dave Crocker wrote:
>> Format is things like space vs. tab and cr vs. lf.
> No, format is things like plain text, HTML, or PDF. Let's clarify that
> upfront.
>> The discussions here have been about issues that are far more basic,
>> such as xml vs. pdf.  That is not format.  It is basic design of the way
>> a document is /represented/.
> These are file formats, no?

I'm clearly not being clear (enough).

First, wikipedia cites "document file format", and cites xml, pdf, etc.
 So no, I'm not claiming the use is unprecedented.  I'll even concede
the obvious, that it is popular usage.

My main point is that the usage has caused confusion here, which is why
I urged making a nomenclature distinction.

Back when I did that, there had been conflation of issues about
indentation, and the like, with issues of basic representation (xml,
pdf, etc.)

So I suggested (and continue to suggest) that we make sure we have
vocabulary that massively distinguishes between minor usage details and
major framework approaches.


Dave Crocker
Brandenburg InternetWorking

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