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This page describes how RFC output is produced in the the current system and proposes a method for it to be produced in the future.


  1. Internet drafts are generated with a variety of tools.
  2. Some of these tools generate XML2RFC input, which is then used to generate text.
  3. Some of the tools generate text directly.
  4. When ready to become an RFC, the text version is sent to the RFC Editor, along with either the corresponding XML2RFC input or the corresponding nroff input

Current Production

  1. If the input to the RFC Editor includes XML, the document is edited directly.
  2. When editing is complete, xml2rfc v2 is used to generate text (unless errors are such that xml2rfc v1 is used instead). AUTH48 state is initiated using the text output. Once approvals are complete, xml2rfc v2/v1 is used to generate nroff.
  3. The nroff is is edited to fix the placement of page breaks and any remaining quirks.
  4. The nroff is used to produce paginated text.
  5. The paginated text is used to produce PDF that looks just like the paginated text.
  6. The RFC Editor publishes the text and PDF files.
  7. Separately, the Tools Team uses the paginated text to produce HTML that looks just like the paginated text but has additional links.

If the input to the RFC Editor is nroff, the nroff is edited directly. When editing is complete, it is then used to produce paginated text, and the rest of the outputs are created using the same process as above.

If the input to the RFC Editor is plain text, the RFC Editor first turns it into nroff, then the steps above are used.

Proposed Future Production

  1. A tool (tentatively called “RFCToolv3”) is used to validate I-Ds against the new DTD
    1. if the I-D is in text format, then an initial step of creating an XML file is necessary
    2. Tool will need to be able to combine multiple XML files (i.e., images, references)
  2. If the input to the RFC Editor is XML, the document is edited directly. If the input is a different format, the RFC Editor first converts it into XML using tools and (probably) hand-editing.
  3. When editing is complete, AUTH48 state is initiated. The RFC Editor and the authors interact, and the interactions are reflected in the XML.
  4. Once approvals are complete, the RFC Editor finalizes the XML and uses RFCToolv3 to create all the non-normative formats (see Thoughts on Non-Canonical Formats).
  5. The RFC Editor publishes the XML and all of the other formats.

Note: Authors may run this tool prior to submission in order to gain understanding on what their final RFC is expected to look like (modulo AUTH48 changes). This includes

  • creation of an XML file (if submitted file is TXT)
  • addition of anchors and tags
  • creation of all publication outputs (HTML, TXT, EPUB, PDF)
    • make it optional which outputs are produced by authors?
design/producing-output.txt · Last modified: 2013/10/30 09:34 by rsewikiadmin