[rfc-i] New Version Notification for draft-flanagan-plaintext-00.txt

Dearlove, Christopher (UK) chris.dearlove at baesystems.com
Tue Jun 24 05:58:14 PDT 2014

Some of us are not always free to choose our tools.
And with regard to printing HTML suggestion, anything that requires a non-default setting to work is not a good plan. In fact relying on specific viewing tools is not good.
And how does it handle tables and figures? Keeps them together? Or arbitrarily splits them?

Clicking on links doesn't work on paper. And yes, paper still matters.

Agreed, tables split with repeated headings may be right. But that's not the sort of splitting you'll get with freeform text. Do you get it with HTML?

To say "we've decided to seriously reduce the usefulness of text, but have no idea if there will be a format that satisfies a real need" really isn't good enough.

There should be a decision that there needs to be a format or formats (doesn't even have to be the same in all cases)
- Prints cleanly with a wide range of available tools.
- Enables use of page numbers to go straight to a page.
- Enables use of page numbers for reference.

Nothing in Section 3.3 of RFC 6949 contradicts the first of these. I think that it contradicts the other two, if considered as applying to all formats, is bad. (I'm not suggesting all formats need to do these, just one.)

Christopher Dearlove
Senior Principal Engineer, Communications Group
Communications, Networks and Image Analysis Capability
BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre
West Hanningfield Road, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, CM2 8HN, UK
Tel: +44 1245 242194 |  Fax: +44 1245 242124
chris.dearlove at baesystems.com | http://www.baesystems.com

BAE Systems (Operations) Limited
Registered Office: Warwick House, PO Box 87, Farnborough Aerospace Centre, Farnborough, Hants, GU14 6YU, UK
Registered in England & Wales No: 1996687

-----Original Message-----
From: Julian Reschke [mailto:julian.reschke at gmx.de] 
Sent: 24 June 2014 13:45
To: Dearlove, Christopher (UK); Ted Lemon
Cc: Paul Kyzivat; rfc-interest at rfc-editor.org
Subject: Re: [rfc-i] New Version Notification for draft-flanagan-plaintext-00.txt

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On 2014-06-24 14:33, Dearlove, Christopher (UK) wrote:
> I replied to a newly brought up point, it wasn't me who first introduced the suggestion that paper wasn't important.
> Printing PDF works. Printing HTML, no.

Try Firefox, decent HTML (such as
<http://svn.tools.ietf.org/svn/wg/httpbis/specs/rfc7230.html>) and set the scale to 100% (which I believe is not the default).

> Page numbers have two separate issues
> - Page numbers within a document. Useful for going quickly to that page.

To navigate within a document, I click on links.

> - Page numbers that can be used as a universal reference.


> And there is a third
> - Pages cleanly separated, so one can print without worry about whether e.g. tables are split across pages.

That's IMHO a matter of taste, splitting a table across page boundaries can be the right thing when the alternative is too much empty space. Of course table headers need to be repeated.

> With the proposal, text is useless in all these regards. Maybe PDF can do all three jobs. Is that being claimed?

It depends; I don't believe we know what the PDF will look like yet.

> (Section numbers are useful. But if a section runs for more than a 
> page - which is far from unusual - they get difficult to use as a 
> reference.)

Paragraphs can be hyperlinked too (the one tricky thing is how to discover the links without making the display too intrusive).

Best regards, Julian

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