[rfc-i] draft-flanagan-rfc-framework-02 composition tools

Joe Touch touch at isi.edu
Fri Oct 31 11:59:01 PDT 2014

On 10/31/2014 9:07 AM, Joe Hildebrand (jhildebr) wrote:
> On 10/31/14, 3:41 PM, "Stewart Bryant (stbryant)" <stbryant at cisco.com> 
> wrote:
>> Maybe they would be if we negotiated a group buy?
> Are we talking about Word? 

I have been, but had not expected a group buy for software any more than
we've ever done one before or for hardware.

> We'll need a more full-fledged proposal before 
> we talk to a sales person, I think.  What is the authoring experience 
> going to be like? 

Same as for other venues that allow Word; it would involve using Word or
a compatible tool.

> How is the submittal process going to work?  

Submit .docx, as is done in other venues.

> What will 
> be published? 

Probably .pdf and/or .html, as is done in other venues.

> How do we ensure that the documents are formatted 
> consistently?  

Templates, as the entire publishing community has been using for years.

> How will we check the files for compliance with guidelines? 

Some aspects of the template can be locked,, some can be checked
programmatically (e.g., online submission systems often check for some
formatting parameters), others require manual checking (as with .XML).

> How do we ensure that there isn't information the author didn't intend 
> hidden in the document? 

That's the authors' responsibility. They can examine the MSOOX output
directly if concerned.

> How do we ensure that the files we use today
> won't break in a couple of years when Microsoft changes formats again?  

On one hand, MS still opens documents I wrote in 1984.

On the other hand, we don't ensure that. Reuse of source files for the
indefinite future is a requirement nowhere else, and it's not clear why
it's assumed as a requirement here. Sometimes information is just typed
or scanned back in from the .pdf or .html.

> What will we do for people on platforms that Microsoft doesn't support?  

There is already software that supports many other platforms. Not all
platforms are supported, but again it's not clear why that's an assumed
requirement for authors.

> Will their authoring experience be adequate with free tools? 

If we keep the template simple enough, yes.

> How do we 
> produce adequate HTML at the end of the process?

Save-as HTML.

> There are likely other questions as well.

Sure. I don't assume I know all of them, but I was the one who revised
the Word template for use with the current ASCII output (to the extent
possible). I've been using Word templates for a very long time - many
are incorrect, but they're not hard to get right and be useful.

> I'm actually being serious here.  If we can come up with a proposal that 
> is fully worked, it is theoretically possible that we could invalidate the 
> work of the last couple of years by numerous volunteers, but I don't 
> expect you can count on those same people to do the leg work.

Right. But we shouldn't assume that the people doing the legwork should
be the primary ones driving the solution either; the impact is on ALL
authors, not just the ones who participate in this discussion.


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