Re: you should not feel bad about I-D document format preferences (was: very mangled subject)

"Andrew G. Malis" <> Sat, 31 October 2020 14:02 UTC

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From: "Andrew G. Malis" <>
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2020 10:02:30 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: you should not feel bad about I-D document format preferences (was: very mangled subject)
To: Keith Moore <>
Cc: IETF Discussion <>, Carsten Bormann <>
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Keith (any anyone else looking for shiny new draft authoring tools),

I recommend that you give Carsten Bormann's Kramdown a try. It's really
easy to pick up and use. You can install a converter locally, or just use
the one at . From Kramdown
source, you can directly generate any output format, or generate XML (look
for the "kramdown" button in the first dialog box, and also the third
dialog box at There's
documentation at, and a syntax
guide at . I find that it really
lets me concentrate more on the content and less on the formatting.


On Sat, Oct 31, 2020 at 7:19 AM Keith Moore <>

> First, I am sorry if I gave the impression that I thought any of "you
> should feel bad" about any preferences you might have for either
> input/authoring/revision or output formats for RFCs.  I'm pretty sure
> that was not my intention.
> (I do appreciate Warren's mention of that, though.   I was raised and
> schooled in a world full of "you should feel bad", and it's a poor habit
> of both speaking and thinking.   And I struggle to think of occasions in
> which "you should feel bad" have actually helped people be wiser or
> better informed.)
> I have used all of the RFC output formats and continue to find all of
> them useful.   If paginated plain text were added to the existing
> formats, I'm not sure that I would use that format very often, but its
> existence wouldn't bother me either.   Even though I dislike the XML as
> an input/authoring/revision format, I see its value as a common format
> from which multiple output formats can be derived.  (And I do not
> believe that "you should feel bad" if you either happen to like the XML
> or prefer paginated text as an output format.)
> The frustration which I was trying to express is something more like
> this:  Every time I submit a new I-D, I dread the process of fighting
> with the format and the tools, generally under deadline pressure of some
> kind.    Making the tools happy has often required more work than
> writing the text itself.   And occasionally I've been unable to get the
> tools to produce the output in a form that I thought would be most
> readable.
> The problems I've seen aren't entirely with the XML2RFC language and the
> document processing tools, but also with the many requirements (for
> boilerplate etc) that we're expected to fulfill just in order to submit
> what used to be an informal proposal.   Or at least it appears that way
> when I use the I-D submission tool. I remember when I could write an
> acceptable I-D using nothing more than emacs, and about the only
> requirement was knowing what email address to send it to.
> I got into the habit of using the xml2rfc language long ago when it
> seemed like the best way to make sure that the I-D would pass all of the
> various requirements for submitting one.   (That was right after I had
> an I-D rejected, and missed a submission deadline, because I fixed a
> grammatical error in some of the prescribed boilerplate text.)
> But I just realized from filling out Jay's survey that there are now a
> lot of I-D authoring tools that I wasn't aware of, and that I didn't
> find the last time I looked for such tools sometime within the past
> year.  (thanks Jay!)   So I'm glad to see that more such tools exist,
> and I hope to find time to evaluate some of them before once again
> facing another deadline to write a new I-D.
> Keith