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

Tim Bray tbray at textuality.com
Wed Jun 18 18:17:47 PDT 2014

My instinct is screaming at me that the 2119 words deserve special
distinguished markup.  The #1 most important semantics of RFCs is the
normative requirements, what you MUST do to interoperate.  If you’re going
to apply semantic markup to *anything* it seems like this ought to be the
top of the list.  No, I don’t have a well-thought-through list of things
you would do with such markup if you had it; but forcing authors to make
explicit decisions about when they’re 2119’ing and when not feels like a
benefit in and of itself.

On Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 1:50 PM, Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) <
rse at rfc-editor.org> wrote:

> Hello rfc-interest,
> A question came up recently regarding whether there were any serious use
> cases around semantically marking up RFC 2119 keywords (when used _as_
> keywords) in the new format.
> In the HTML draft, it says:
> 3.3.1.  Requirement Keywords
>    The RFC2119 keywords in the document will be set off with special
>    markup.  They are surrounded with a <span> element containing the CSS
>    class rfc2119.  For example:
>    They <span class='rfc2119'>MUST</span> be surrounded
> 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"?
> 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.
> Feedback welcome,
> Heather Flanagan, RSE
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- Tim Bray (If you’d like to send me a private message, see
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