[rfc-i] RFC Series publishes first RFC with non-ASCII characters

Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) rse at rfc-editor.org
Fri Sep 22 09:54:17 PDT 2017

On 9/22/17 5:51 AM, Julian Reschke wrote:
> On 2017-09-14 23:07, Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) wrote:
>> ...
>> The RPC and the Tools Team has identified several areas that need to be
>> modified to support these characters. Some of those areas will
>> ultimately be handled with the new format tools; others have been
>> modified as part of the more general work to prepare for the new RFC
>> format. For the documents being used to test the toolchain, a
>> significant amount of manual processing is required to publish the
>> RFCs with non-ASCII characters in the final text. In order to keep
> > ...
> Out of curiosity: as the current version of xml2rfc produces the UTF-8
> plain text just fine (*), what additional processing are you referring
> to?

There are the manual checks to determine if everything renders exactly
as expected. There are a number of discussions as we learn how to deal
with half- and full-width characters in the same document, and try to
determine the best path forward to make such characters in tables to
line up properly. There are even more discussions as we learn more about
invisible space characters outside of the ASCII realm and try to
understand if those are something we need to write scripts to identify.
xml2rfc is just one component of getting these documents published.

>> overall processing times down, leave staff enough time to test
>> the other tools that are being developed as part of the RFC format
>> project, and allow the editors time to create and/or update new
>> procedures as the v3 tools are released, no additional non-ASCII
>> documents outside of RFC 8187 and the PRECIS cluster will be published
>> until the new format tools are in production.
>> ...
> Understood.
> Now what does this mean for drafts being written right now, and which
> are not expected to be ready for publication in the next, let's say,
> 12 months? Can we start submitting I-Ds with non-ASCII characters
> right now (without getting stopped by id-nits...)?

That's an excellent question. I think this is something to discuss with
both the IESG and the Tools Team, though I am fairly confident that
"right now" isn't possible. An idnits update is one of the tools
contracted for, and is not yet complete (see the expected timeline here:
https://trac.tools.ietf.org/tools/ietfdb/wiki/FormatToolsPlan). Also,
we've seen that the datatracker isn't rendering non-ASCII characters
correctly in the PDF automatically generated from RFC 8187
(https://trac.tools.ietf.org/tools/ietfdb/ticket/2370). So, there is
still some work to do before this will all work.


> Best regards, Julian
> (*) with the possible exception of the BOM :-)

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