[rfc-i] Is there a use case for 2119 keyword markup?

Andrew Sullivan ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
Wed Jun 18 15:03:51 PDT 2014

On Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 01:50:37PM -0700, Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) wrote:

> For this to happen, we need to add something to the XML vocabulary as
> well.  Does anyone have a use case where this kind of markup would be
> useful, or is it just a "nice to have, because we can, but not if it
> increases the overall cost of creating RFCs"?

It seems to me that, if we're using semantic mark up and don't use it
in any way to deal with perhaps the most important semantic
distinction we have in the entire RFC series, then we're doing it wrong.

> Note: Whether or not we decide to add markup around the keywords, the
> current guidance around capitalization, etc, as described in RFC 2119
> will still apply.

This also seems like a mistake, at least in the long term.  That is,
if you alter the XML vocabulary, then at some future date you can stop
the incredibly stupid arguments about whether MUST and must are
equivalent, because there'll be a way (checking the canonical version)
to see whether a particular series of letters m-u-s-t is marked up in
the way that calls it out as a special word.  This is practically the
point of using markup.  (This is the very same reason I think that
having some markup handling of non-ASCII characters is valuable, BTW.)

Best regards,


Andrew Sullivan
ajs at anvilwalrusden.com

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