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

Nico Williams nico at cryptonector.com
Fri Jan 23 14:49:40 PST 2015

On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 04:41:53PM -0500, Paul Kyzivat wrote:
> On 1/23/15 3:22 PM, Ted Lemon wrote:
> >Actually, I think there can be a number of different approaches that make sense:
> >
> >1. The RFC in a sense annotates the ABNF, which is presented in
> >labeled chunks marked for order, or else defaulting to being in
> >order.   The document processor could in principle extract the ABNF,
> >concatenate it, and present you with what you need.
> >
> >2. The RFC has ABNF interspersed, which may or may not be complete,
> >and the full ABNF is presented in an appendix.   It would be ideal if
> >the appendix could be generated as a concatenation of the ABNF in the
> >main text, possibly with additional fragments.   Failing that, the
> >fragments should be automatically checkable against the complete ABNF
> >to make sure that they are consistent.   Either of these approaches
> >are straightforward.
> I think it may be worth discussing how important this would be if
> there was a straightforward and consistent way to extract the full
> ABNF. ISTM that this style exists primarily because of a lack of
> that tool.

There's no ABNF "module", and who's to say that piece of any "module"
must be discussed in prose in concat order anyways?

(Maybe we should introduce a notion of ABNF module.)

IMO the right thing to do is to define markup in modules of various
types, to be interpreted only by the xml2rfc processor, and which is to
be used to define chunks (named by anchors) to be extracted into figures
that call for them (by anchor).

The tricky part of my proposal is: either this markup isn't pure XML (it
being embedded in CDATA, in ASN.1/ABNF/... comments) or the modules must
be broken up into CDATA chunks interspersed with XML markup (ugh).  The
former would be no fun for the tools folks, the latter would be no fun
for authors and editors.

One alternative would be to support addressing of logical chunks of
modules by type/whatever name/path (e.g., ASN.1 type and value names,
ABNF rule names, ...).  This would not be ideal (think of a very large
type that would be best described over several figures), but it wouldn't
have the tricky problems of the preceding proposal.


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