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

Paul Hoffman paul.hoffman at vpnc.org
Sat Jun 21 04:03:05 PDT 2014

On Jun 21, 2014, at 10:10 AM, Larry Masinter <masinter at adobe.com> wrote:

> I think I left out the use case for 2119 keyword markup, which is:
> In more than one case, to generate an initial list of 'features' for interoperability or conformance testing, the group started with a list of every (paragraph containing a) MUST, MAY or SHOULD.  If there were RFC 2119 markup, it would assist with this process.

As someone who is doing this exercise right now (on the ~100 documents that define the DNS), I fully disagree with that last sentence. I can just as easily search for "MUST" using a text editor as I can search for an XML entity using some XML tool. I can visually see all-caps as well as I can bold.

More significantly, however, I cannot rely on the XML entities to be applied correctly. Authors will get this wrong, and the RFC Production Center will get this wrong. That's just a fact of life. I need to actually read the text to see what is and is not a feature for interoperability and conformance.

Given that, the utility of the entities reduces to zero, but their presence will give a false sense of security.

--Paul Hoffman

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