Re: draft-klensin-unicode-escapes-05 and draft-klensin-net-utf8-05

Stephane Bortzmeyer <bortzmeyer@nic.fr> Tue, 09 October 2007 13:30 UTC

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Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 15:20:25 +0200
From: Stephane Bortzmeyer <bortzmeyer@nic.fr>
To: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
Subject: Re: draft-klensin-unicode-escapes-05 and draft-klensin-net-utf8-05
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On Mon, Oct 08, 2007 at 12:42:41PM -0400,
 John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> wrote 
 a message of 82 lines which said:

> I could try to incorporate a little more text along those lines in
> the document, but please remember that it has already been
> criticized for containing too much history and explanation rather
> than just laying out the rules.

Allow me a personal soapbox. I find that typical RFCs are terribly
lacking rationales, history and background details. The focus on 'pure
specification' makes difficult to understand the choices and is a sure
recipe for reinventing bad ideas from time to time (or, worse, to
violate a specification because it seems suboptimal).

The standard IETF reply 'Read the archives of the working group, they
are public, anyway', is a joke: no normal human being can digest two
or three years of a typical WG mailing list archive and still do
actual work.

I understand the need to separate the specification from the rationale
(for large RFC, this could be done by a split between two RFC, one
standard and one informational) but this should not prevent us to have
a 'Rationale and design choices' section.