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

Eric Rescorla ekr at rtfm.com
Wed Aug 25 13:06:37 PDT 2021


On Wed, Aug 25, 2021 at 12:00 PM Robert Sparks <rjsparks at nostrum.com> wrote:

> I remember EKR mentioning that he used the plain text version when doing
> reviews, as it loaded well into the code-review tool he was co-opting.
>
I've stopped using Phab so much, but yeah, that's what I did. I also just
do that with emacs.

Are other people using the text this way?
>

I've been following this thread but tbh I'm having trouble understanding
what's at stake here. It seems like there are a lot of different uses of
the text format and we have tools that generate it. Are we really
considering deprecating it? Perhaps, we can just leave it more or less
as-is?

-Ekr


RjS
> On 8/25/21 11:10 AM, Bob Hinden wrote:
>
> Martin,
>
>
> On Aug 24, 2021, at 7:34 PM, Martin Thomson <mt at lowentropy.net> <mt at lowentropy.net> wrote:
>
> On Wed, Aug 25, 2021, at 12:21, Bob Hinden wrote:
>
> I use text file version of drafts quite a lot currently.  This includes:
>
> - rfcdiff to compare two different versions, this includes:
>   o After running xml2rfc to see the changes
>   o Looking at a new text output in emacs (where I edit the xml)
>   o Looking at the changes when a new draft is published
>   o Emailing a link to a diff of two text versions
> - Excerpts from text drafts paste into email as part of list discussions
> - I even occasionally print a text version from emacs (ps-print) if
>  I want to read and markup a paper version.
>
> If there were equivalent tools that worked with one of the other
> formats (html or pdf), I might be able to migrate to using that.   As
> far as I can tell that doesn’t exist today.
>
> I will observe that with the exception of diffs, I use HTML for all of the things he lists.  I find that most of these use cases work better from HTML than text.  For instance, I find the added spacing and line breaks in the text format occasionally awkward for pasting quotations into other mediums.
>
> Diffs of HTML really don't work well, so I find that plain, unpaginated text is best for that.  Using unpaginated text means that I can use ordinary diff tools rather than rfcdiff, which gives me a lot more choice.  That said, I do find the online service that diffs arbitrary URLs to be quite convenient and I do use diffs a lot.
>
> I agree.   Diffs appear to be the main reason to keep using text at this point in time.
>
> Bob
>
>
>
>
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