[rfc-i] rfc-interest Digest, Vol 196, Issue 22

John C Klensin john-ietf at jck.com
Mon Feb 22 14:53:56 PST 2021

--On Monday, February 22, 2021 13:10:44 -0600 Robert Sparks
<rjsparks at nostrum.com> wrote:

> On 2/22/21 2:15 AM, Carsten Bormann wrote:
>> On 22. Feb 2021, at 08:35, Julian Reschke
>> <julian.reschke at gmx.de> wrote:
>>> Note that the recommendations are inconsistent, and that the
>>> first one (from the web site) adds a link to tools.ietf.org.
>> ? which has served us well as a landing page for a draft.
>> People like that page a lot because it has the relevant
>> metadata and links as well as the content of the draft.
>> (The equivalent data tracker page has more, but less useful
>> and less usefully presented metadata, and it only has the
>> first two pages of the draft, because it was *not* designed
>> to serve as the landing page.)
> Minor, but important note - it only shows the first two pages
> by default  for concern (at the time it was made) about
> bandwidth for consumers -  the site does allow you to control
> getting the whole draft on that page  by cookie. I realize
> that's not useful (or is a negative) for making it  the URL
> you might cite. But perhaps we should revisit at least the
> first  part of the document cookie and either always serve the
> whole document  there, or flip the default to always serve.
> That said, the page you are looking for is probably going to be
> datatracker.ietf.org/doc/html/(whatever)
> I am in the middle of significantly changing that to have the
> same  information in the header as the draft pages at tools,
> remove the normal  datatracker nav menu and tabs, and to
> follow the same general formatting  style in what's at tools.

I am having trouble completely picturing just what you have in
mind, but, whatever you do, please keep in mind that references
from RFCs are supposed to be completely stable.  That means
that, if I, as author, reference draft-foo-bar-baz-03 at the
time of RFC publication, wherever the link points should produce
draft-foo-bar-baz-03 and not its most recent successor, whether
that is draft-foo-bar-baz-15 or RFC 9999.  This is, of course a
cousin of whether a new I-D or RFC should be referencing the
same target RFC as the document it is replacing or should be
referencing the most recent update/replacement for that earlier
version.  In both cases, heuristics will frequently be wrong.
It might actually be useful for authors to be able to specify
"the version we specified, really" versus "most recent version"
in markup.

I'm even a little hesitant about your pointing to the HTML
version as long as at least some of the html versions are
synthesized from the text rather than being supplied by authors
(who have presumably checked them) or generated from xml2rfc v3
(which is presumably infallible). The synthesis process doesn't
make serious errors very often, but, in my experience, it does
make them.


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