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

tjw ietf tjw.ietf at gmail.com
Tue Aug 24 12:32:59 PDT 2021

I’ve been thinking like we have bib references we should have a similar service for ABNF. 

(Who spent some time understanding the ABNF import refs for DMARC)

Sent from my iPhone

> On Aug 24, 2021, at 15:28, Paul Kyzivat <pkyzivat at alum.mit.edu> wrote:
> On 8/24/21 2:39 PM, Carsten Bormann wrote:
>>> For internet-drafts (what are they? who cares...)   where the YANG might not
>>> validate (or might not validate with the version of pyang that the DT uses),
>>> how does not reference the problem part?
>> I never understood why people are submitting drafts with formal descriptions that don’t even parse.  I’d suggest we stop doing that.
> I can't speak for YANG, but for ABNF there are a reasons:
> 1) snippets of ABNF tend to be interspersed in text discussions. They sometimes are just examples, where the context is understood from the text. Other times a "complete" ABNF is introduced bit by bit across the document. In this case the snippets are are typically small, so they don't, by themselves, make referencing difficult.
> 2) very often (in my experience, most of the time) the ABNF in one document builds on the ABNF in one or more other documents. Comments in the ABNF or accompanying text say "See RFCnnn for the definition of FOO". It can take considerable work to pull together all the referenced pieces that are necessary for the ABNF to verify. (In this case the ABNF is well formed except that some terms are undefined.)
> Also, I find problematic the idea of needing source-language-specific ways of constructing references to points within a document. It presumes that a person reviewing who needs to make or follow a reference will be familiar with the specific language mechanism. Oft times this is not a reasonable assumption.
> For instance, I do my best to avoid any document that has YANG in its title, but sometimes I can't. (E.g., when doing a genart review.) I'm not going to be making any deep comments on the YANG, but I may still need to reference it. If so, I'm not going to be using a YANG-specific mechanism to do so. Cutting a a seemingly unique block of the document and pasting it into my review is easier and works for anything.
>    Thanks,
>    Paul
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