[rfc-i] Fwd: New Version Notification for draft-hoffman-xml2rfc-18.txt

Henrik Levkowetz henrik at levkowetz.com
Tue Jun 2 08:20:37 PDT 2015

On 2015-05-26 23:27, Paul Hoffman wrote:


> - A change in the design of relative references. In earlier drafts,
> relative references were done as additional attributes in <xref>; in
> the new draft, <xref> acts as it does in v2, and there is a new
> <relref> element for relative references. This was done to make it
> easier for authors to understand how the XML they create will be
> processed. Please read <eref> and <relref> and <xref> for a complete
> description, including examples of how the HTML for each might be
> rendered.

I've read the sections on <eref>, <relref> and <xref>, and there are a
few things that bothers me.  Taking up one of them in this message:

From -18:

   2.24.  <eref>
      A link to URI that is not in the References section.  This is useful
      for embedding URIs in the body of a document.


   2.44.  <relref>

      A relative link to a reference from the References section.
      Formatters that have links (such as HTML and PDF) are likely to
      render <relref> elements as live external links to the specified part
      of the reference, creating the link target by combining the base URI
      from the <reference> element with the "relative" attribute from this
      element.  The "target" attribute is required, and it must be the
      anchor of a <reference> element.

This means that if I create a document where I use eref to link to an
external document, and later want to include a reference to that document,
the <eref> becomes illegal as soon as I've inserted the reference, and I
would need to manually change the markup to use <relref>.

It seems to me that this imposes manual change work that is quite unnecessary;
it would be more helpful if one could use the same markup irrespective of
whether a reference is present or not.  It is my impression from what the
document (-18) says that the resulting external link would be the same
with <eref> and <relref>, so the effect of limiting the use of <eref>
to URIs that are _not_ in the references section seems to have no benefit,
only the drawback of enforcing unnecessary manual work.

I don't have any strong views on how helpful it would be to be able to
specify external links relative to a reference entry, except that if one
uses <relref> and then removes the reference in question, one again gets
to do manual work in changing <relref> back to <eref>.  Also here I'd prefer
to simply make the presence of absence of any given reference irrelevant
for how an external link is expressed.



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