[rfc-i] What the text version is used for (was Re: The <tt> train wreck)

Michael Richardson mcr+ietf at sandelman.ca
Sun Aug 22 08:47:56 PDT 2021


    jl> xml or html grep. Several people have said that when they're
    jl> commenting on a draft or I-D, they copy and paste rectangular regions
    jl> of text, which is generally impossible in HTML in a browser. (You can
    jl> copy, but try to select a rectangle.)

Not only is the way to comment, but it's also the best thing to paste into
your source code to articulate why you are doing something weird.
(Argue copyright vs debian in another thread)

Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com> wrote:
    > Huh? I don't know how to select a rectangle from a .txt file which
    > is not full width. Also, the cases where you actually *need* to
    > preserve the layout will be artwork or code. You can select those
    > from the rendered HTML with no problem.

Emacs can mark non-full-width parts to copy.
Academic papers are (still) doing two-column PDF, which is so annoying to read on
the screen in fit-width.  I wish I could reflow that.
It's also really hard to copy and paste from due to being unable to select a
single column.

    > (However, PDF has the advantage that it supports commenting.)

However, the ecosystem(s) to share the comments are lacking.
The HTML version can be matched with tools like https://web.hypothes.is/
equally well.

I've done this while reviewing, but we are long way (socially) from being
able to benefit from this.  (Some of you will remember Mozilla Group
Annotations...).  It might be that they have the technology do to HTMLdiff.

--
Michael Richardson <mcr+IETF at sandelman.ca>   . o O ( IPv6 IøT consulting )
           Sandelman Software Works Inc, Ottawa and Worldwide
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