[rfc-i] Changes to the v3 <postal> element

John R Levine johnl at taugh.com
Thu Jun 10 16:54:49 PDT 2021


One of the changes to the xml v3 grammar since RFC 7991 is a new <postal> 
element with a set of subfields such as <street>, <region>, and <code>. To 
render addresses we use a python library that depends on an open source 
address database originally from Google.  While tracking down a rendering 
bug, we found that the rendering database is not actively maintained and 
has a long list of unresolved pull requests.  We don't know of any other 
reliable source of rendering patterns.

But we don't see a strong reason for readers to need the full postal address
for RFC authors. Anecdotally, on rare occasions readers have used the postal
address but (a) the email address is primary since <postal/> is optional and
(b) readers likely have better ways to find contact information for RFC
authors.

The one part we care most about from <postal/> is <country/>.  This enables
people to do things like gather statistics about where RFCs originate, such as
https://www.arkko.com/tools/rfcstats/d-countrydistr.html

Our proposal is to deprecate all of the <postal> elements other than the
<country/> element.  Authors can include them if they want, but they won't be
rendered and the RPC won't ask for them.  We think this leaves the useful bit
of info while avoiding a lot of extra work for minimal benefit.

If there are issues we've missed, please let us know.

R's,
John


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