[rfc-i] XInclude usage

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at mozilla.com
Wed Aug 4 10:51:04 PDT 2021

Back in 2017, Julian Reschke asked [1] that we clarify the scope of
XInclude [2] usage, to wit:


1. It should be clarified how much of XInclude needs to be supported.
I'm mentioning this because RFC7991 says that includes can not happen
where no elements are allowed, but XInclude allows inclusion of plain
text as well.

2. Is support of the xpointer attribute required? If so, do we have any
guidance how this will work when the document from which to include uses
xml2rfc format, and the pointer relies on the id-ness of an attribute?


We discussed this recently [3] within the RFC XML and Style Guide Change
Management Team. Our understanding is that x:include is used primarily
or perhaps exclusively to pull in reference files structured as XML. In
order to keep things as simple as possible, my suggestion to the team
and to this list is as follows:

a. Limit the usage of XInclude to XML only (parse="xml"), not arbitrary
text (parse="text")

b. Don't support fallback [4]

c. Don't support XPointer [5]

I'm curious what others think.


[1] https://github.com/rfc-format/draft-iab-xml2rfc-v3-bis/issues/18 see
also https://github.com/rfc-format/draft-iab-xml2rfc-v3-bis/issues/128
[2] https://www.w3.org/TR/2006/REC-xinclude-20061115/
[3] https://codimd.ietf.org/cmt-20210726
[4] https://www.w3.org/TR/2006/REC-xinclude-20061115/#fallback
[5] https://www.w3.org/TR/2003/REC-xptr-framework-20030325/

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