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

Robert Sparks rjsparks at nostrum.com
Wed Aug 25 13:56:35 PDT 2021

Changing the subject again, because this is really now about tt, and the 
other thread I do want to see continue.

The principle of not breaking the plain text doesn't really help with 
this one - it's a new v3 artifact, and there are complaints about how 
<tt> has been rendering in v3 plain text to date.

Ticket 300 doesn't really capture the history of the issue that led to 
the change well. https://trac.ietf.org/trac/xml2rfc/ticket/647 does a 
little better - there Martin makes the request to have the quotes 
removed. We got to it, I think, from v2v3 turning v2 <spanx 
style=“verb”> into v3 <tt>.

John did a survey of what the RFCs published so far and found that the 
would have been legible without the quotes, so we moved ahead to do that.

As you can see Carsten doesn't think that's the right thing to do. He's 
pointed to some cases that could be constructed where not having the 
quotes would hurt, but it looks like those could be avoided. He's also 
proposed that we add more format-specific layout tweaking attributes, 
which is something the whole v3 effort has worked to avoid.

I'm not trying to argue for any outcome here - just trying to shed more 
light on what this part of the conversation is about.


On 8/25/21 3:26 PM, Eric Rescorla wrote:
> Sounds like we're on the same page. I believe that the plain text is 
> about as good as it's going to get and so mostly not breaking it seems 
> like the requirement.
> -Ekr
> On Wed, Aug 25, 2021 at 1:23 PM Carsten Bormann <cabo at tzi.org 
> <mailto:cabo at tzi.org>> wrote:
>     On 25. Aug 2021, at 22:06, Eric Rescorla <ekr at rtfm.com
>     <mailto:ekr at rtfm.com>> wrote:
>     >
>     > 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?
>     Indeed: Clearly, plaintext is not going away.
>     John Levine has put out the summary right at the start of this
>     subthread:
>     > This tells me that we need to keep the text version and it needs
>     to have the full
>     > contents of the document, but not that it has to be particularly
>     beautiful.  The HTML
>     > is where you get the beautiful version.
>     The root of this discussion was the situation we have created
>     around the <tt> element.
>     This has recently led to an incompatible change (ticket 600) to
>     its rendering that entirely seems to be motivated by making the
>     plaintext more beautiful.
>     Quoting you again:
>     > Perhaps, we can just leave it more or less as-is?
>     This.
>     *We need to back out the change made in ticket 600 before it gets
>     deployed*.
>     Grüße, Carsten
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