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

Thomas Clausen ietf at thomasclausen.org
Tue Jun 24 11:22:33 PDT 2014

On Jun 24, 2014, at 19:57, Joe Hildebrand (jhildebr) <jhildebr at cisco.com> wrote:

> On 6/24/14, 11:53 AM, "Thomas Clausen" <ietf at thomasclausen.org> wrote:
>> On Jun 24, 2014, at 19:53, Ted Lemon <mellon at fugue.com> wrote:
>>> On Jun 24, 2014, at 8:41 AM, Thomas Clausen <ietf at thomasclausen.org>
>>> wrote:
>>>> 	“an automatic, monotonically increasing section number, starting with
>>>> the digit 1,
>>>> 	 MUST inserted every 58 lines of text (including figures,
>>>> whitespaces, etc) of the
>>>> 	 document.”
>>> What's a line?
>> That’s like asking “what’s a byte”, isn’t it?
> I assume you mean "octet". :)

No, I carefully said “byte” here…while not French, I do live in France, a country where (for whatever flaws you may find with the French) they actually say “octet” when they mean “octet”, and look weirdly at you if you say “byte” ;) At least for that rigor (and their excellent cheese) you’ve gotta love the French ;)

> Seriously though, how long is a line on my e-reader, when using a
> proportional font, when some of the characters aren't ASCII?  Even
> counting grapheme clusters isn't likely to work.

Again, this is precisely the point I am trying to make.

Just like “a byte” commonly is understood, depending on contexts and with a specific history, to be 6, 7, 8, or 9 bits long (*giggle*) and therefore is used without ambiguity in those contexts, in the RFC-writing world there’s nothing that prevents us from defining “a line” in a way which our history has made us comfortable, and to insert “markers/anchors” automatically every n “lines”.

The proposal was to add “automatic anchors” at sufficiently small intervals to be useful for referencing, but not at so small intervals that we’d need one for each “line” (whatever that is).

The “collective conscience” immediately kicked Ted to think “pagination” and “72 characters per line", and that’s precisely the point I am trying to make here.

If you think of it as “an automatic anchor” then that’s just as good as any other form of “automatic anchor” we can think up — with the added benefit that it doesn’t violate the collective conscience and has some clear advantages for those of us who still think in “pages”. 

For those who do not think in “pages” just think in “an anchor that we stick in for historic reasons”, much like we stick “Network Working Group” on all our production —which, despite calling itself “Request For Comments” also pretends to be able to be “prescriptive”.

And that, you surely can represent also on your e-reader also: text, and anchors?


> -- 
> Joe Hildebrand

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