[rfc-i] v3imp #8 Fragment tagging on sourcecode

Nico Williams nico at cryptonector.com
Fri Jan 23 09:55:16 PST 2015


On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 11:24:28AM -0500, Paul Kyzivat wrote:
> Of all the things in this recent burst, this is the first one that
> grabbed me. I have looked into extracting ABNF from drafts, and did
> indeed encounter problems. I found the following variations:
> 
> 1) a single figure containing a complete ABNF source
> 2) fragments of ABNF scattered through a document.
>    When consolidated these form a single complete ABNF source.
> 3) a combination of (1) and (2): fragments in the text
>    followed by a complete source that replicates the fragments.
> 4) multiple independent ABNF sources in the same document.

When authoring this can also be a problem.

You might have a large module (ASN.1, XDR, ABNF, whatever) and you need
to a) scatter it throughout the document so that the English prose can
be read in context, b) gather it all into one appendix, c) be able to
extract or inject the module so you can work on it outside the I-D
(e.g., because the two are evolving).

This is a bit pain.  It's the reason that RFC4120 was edited in nroff,
IIRC.

Keeping the canonical module scattered is not an answer.

Addressing parts (of a canonical module in an Appendings) by line number
seems lame.

Annotating the module with anchors and start/end markers for extraction
would require that the processor understand that markup in the figure,
though at least the markup wouldn't have to be specific to the module
language.  OR it would require breaking up the module into multiple
CDATAs so that this markup can be XML (of course), but this is a PITA
for authors.

I don't have great answers.

Nico
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