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

Dave Crocker dhc at dcrocker.net
Fri Jun 20 09:04:45 PDT 2014

On 6/20/2014 8:38 AM, Fred Baker (fred) wrote:
> On Jun 18, 2014, at 1:50 PM, Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) <rse at rfc-editor.org> 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"?
> Well, the key question is how it will be used. Does the RFC Editor plan, for example, to create some sort of tool that would pull out the “musts” for display or for incorporation in a place in the document? I’m imagining a PICS pro forma, whether in the same document or a separate one.
> If there is no use case, I agree that it seems a little over the top. 

I think your point really serves as a touchstone to a larger issue or
set of issues.

First, while it's fine for the RFC Editor to add whatever bells and
whistles they deem interesting, I think the larger responsibility is
/ours/ (the IETF community's) to consider better ways for RFCs to get
used.  Just as /we/ create the content, /we/ should consider the overall
usage framework for RFCs.

Second, The touchstone demonstrates possible enhancements over current
usage, but it's probably only an exemplar of a larger set.

We could, of course, get bogged down in an entire re-invention cycle and
no, I'm not suggesting we waste our time with that.  Still, when making
any sort of paradigm change -- like formally marking what characters are
normative and what characters are not -- we should think about the
opportunities and possible distractions created by having an xml-based
documentation base.


Dave Crocker
Brandenburg InternetWorking

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