[rfc-i] v3imp #A Convert to PDF with a quality tool

Julian Reschke julian.reschke at gmx.de
Fri Jan 23 03:44:38 PST 2015

On 2015-01-23 10:10, Sean Leonard wrote:
> Tool Request
> #A Convert to PDF with a quality tool
> Despite various pronouncements that pagination doesn't matter, etc., the
> fact is that people will be using paged media for a long time to come.
> Pretty much every other SDO on the planet (except perhaps W3C) issues
> its standards in a paginated form, including physical book or electronic
> PDF options.
> To make IETF docs look good, it would be nice to have a quality tool
> that captures all of the nuances of the vocabulary in PDF format.
> Desired features include:
> • bookmarks for sections
> • observing pagination controls (see Improvement #2)
> • observing standardized headers and footers (compare with Tool Request
> #B, forthcoming)
> • preserving intra-document and extra-document hyperlinks
> • formatting choices that allow documents to be printed on Letter or A4
> page sizes at 100% resolution
> • including comments and other annotations in the native PDF format
> • observing whitespace and line break preservation as directed by the
> input (e.g., NBSP, NBHYPHEN, don't break this range of text, don't
> collapse multiple spaces)
> • vector artwork
> • preserving text flow for accessibility purposes
> • font embedding
> • preserving "files" and other incorporated blobs as document-level or
> page-level "File Attachments"
> • metadata preservation
> Short of developing a custom tool, the off-the-shelf standard that I
> have found to work is xml2rfc -> HTML -> hand-tooling the HTML to look
> "nice" -> Prince XML -> PDF. Prince XML is CSS aware and therefore gets
> a lot of the formatting right, in a way that no other layout engine has
> been able to handle.
> For draft-josefsson-pkix-textual-10 I believe that I used the
> Chrome/Chromium rendering engine to PDF on Mac OS X, as it preserved the
> no-break and (manually inserted) pagination control properties
> correctly. Unfortunately, neither Chrome/WebKit nor Firefox/Gecko
> rendering engines preserve hyperlinks when saving as PDF using the print
> subsystem.
> Prince XML is commercial software but it is cheap enough for a site
> license that I think the IETF/RFC Editor should just get a license and
> make it available for online I-D and RFC conversion. Other than this,
> consider converting xml2rfc v3 directly to PDF, in conjunction with some
> style sheet input. (Upon writing that sentence, I think that defining
> the style sheet input is significantly more complex than writing the
> tool itself...which is why I think that going the (X)HTML route offers a
> lot more flexibility and commercially maintained options.)
> ...


Best regards, Julian

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