[rfc-i] Text rendering of <spanx style=verb> and <tt>

Paul Hoffman paul.hoffman at vpnc.org
Mon Dec 17 07:32:32 PST 2018

On 16 Dec 2018, at 21:02, Jeffrey Yasskin wrote:

> Right now, xml2rfc's text output renders RFC7749's <spanx style=verb>
> and RFC7991's <tt> by surrounding the contents with double quotes (").
> This is ambiguous with actual quoted strings in the body of the RFC.
> This confused an area director in the review of CDDL
> (https://mozphab-ietf.devsvcdev.mozaws.net/D4234#inline-7837), and has
> led to an apparent consensus in the HTTPWG not to use these pieces of
> the XML markup at all
> (https://github.com/httpwg/http-extensions/pull/738).
> It seems silly to leave traps like this, where a piece of markup is
> defined, and useful in the HTML output, but actually forbidden in any
> RFC that wants to be published.


> An ASCII alternative could be to wrap the contents in backticks (`)
> instead of quotes, but this would break any v2 documents that describe
> the effect of <spanx style=verb> in words. Doing it for just v3 (<tt>)
> might force the automatic v2->v3 conversion to leave <spanx
> style=verb> alone instead of converting that to <tt>.

For ASCII output of v2, the definition of <spanx style=verb>, the 
definition is:
    verb  "Verbatim" text (usually displayed using a monospaced
       font face).

For ASCII output of v3, the definition of <tt> is:
    Causes the text to be displayed in a constant-width font.  This
    element can be combined with other character formatting elements, 
    the formatting will be additive.

In ASCII output for both v2 and v3, the text is already in a monospaced 
or constant-width font.

> Do folks have other ideas for removing the trap? Do folks agree that
> the trap is worth removing?

The way to remove the trap is to not add anything to the ASCII output 
for <spanx style=verb> or <tt>, and only use those tags for changing 
HTML or other outputs.

--Paul Hoffman

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