Re: FIXED: Poll: RFCs with page numbers (pretty please) ? (was: Re: John/rsoc: Re: Page numbers in RFCs questions / preferences)

Phillip Hallam-Baker <> Tue, 27 October 2020 22:50 UTC

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From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <>
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2020 18:50:10 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: FIXED: Poll: RFCs with page numbers (pretty please) ? (was: Re: John/rsoc: Re: Page numbers in RFCs questions / preferences)
To: Toerless Eckert <>
Cc: IETF Discussion Mailing List <>, Working Group Chairs <>, John Levine <>, RFC Interest <>,
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Whooaah there...

What is the status of this poll? I am all for moving from the subjective
consensus model in which certain parties get a veto because their opinions
are considered weightier than the rest of us. Objective measures of
consensus are good. But is this an official poll? What does it mean?

But of course, as John K. pointed out, this is not actually an IETF
process. Only of course it is in every meaningful sense except insofar as
IETF rules of the road apply.

Page numbers is not the hill I would choose to die on here. They don't work
in HTML and the whole point of this process is that the TXT documents
reflect very badly on the IETF as an organization. It spoke of an
organization that is stuck in the 1960s ranting on about how vinyl is
better than CD.

There are serious issues with the new format. Not least the fact that SVG
is not actually supported. The supported format is SVG/Tiny which is an
obsolete format originally proposed back in the WAP days as a means of
crippling the spec to fit the capabilities of the devices back before Steve
Jobs showed us an iPhone for the first time. There are no tools that
produce SVG/Tiny, not even GOAT - I had to modify the source code to comply.

I don't mind retooling to support an improved specification. Having to
retool to support an obsolete one is nonsense.

Anyway, how about as a compromise, authors can opt to suppress generation
of the TXT version so that the page number issue doesn't come up at all?

On Mon, Oct 26, 2020 at 2:15 PM Toerless Eckert <> wrote:

> [Sorry, resenting with poll URL instead of result URL]
> Since about RFC8650, newer RFC will not have any renderings with
> page numbers on {datatracker,tools} See explanation from
> John Levine below.
> Not having followed the details of the RFC/XMLv3 standardization process,
> i was surprised by this because i think there is no reason to
> have additional renderings, maybe even only on that
> do include page numbers (and technically it does not seem to be a problem
> either).
> If you care to express your position,
> i have created a poll for this, please chime in there:
> Results here:
> Cheers
>     toerless
> On Mon, Oct 26, 2020 at 01:35:43PM -0400, John R. Levine wrote:
> > > Could you please explain why RSOC does not want to permit the ability
> > > to have paginated RFC output options ? Also, where and when was this
> > > discussed with the community ?
> >
> > It was discussed in the multi-year process leading to the IAB
> > publishing RFCs 7990, 7991, 7992, 7993, 7994, 7995, 7996, 7997, and
> > 7998 in 2016. I'm sure you know how to find the discussions in the
> > archives.  Henrik knows all of this and I cannot imagine why he did not
> tell
> > you the same thing.
> >
> > I am aware there is one recent RFC author who did not participate in
> > the process at all and has been complaining that the text version of
> > his RFC doesn't have page numbers. I've explained this to him more
> > than once, and see no reason to waste more time on it.
> >
> > R's,
> > John