Re: document writing/editing tools used by IETF

"Joel M. Halpern" <> Fri, 26 February 2021 01:43 UTC

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Subject: Re: document writing/editing tools used by IETF
To: Carsten Bormann <>
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From: "Joel M. Halpern" <>
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Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 20:42:57 -0500
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I think there are actually two issues related to authoring approaches 
that we do not currently handle very well.

First is probably not our problem as an organization.  That is the one 
you allude to below.  If there are multiple authors, they need a tooling 
approach that the authors collectivly can work with.  Whether that is 
github, passing source around, having a single pen-holder, ... is up to 
the author team.

There is however a second problem.  Namely the ability for the WG to 
take charge of the document when the author either can't or doesn't.  I 
still remember how much work the new author had to do with the ForCES 
protocol spec to convert the document from a very messy (and error 
prone) word format to the XML that we could edit in tools that would 
work for us. (The previous author / editor had left her company and 
therefore was no longer supported to do the work.)


On 2/25/2021 8:19 PM, Carsten Bormann wrote:
> On 25. Feb 2021, at 21:27, Keith Moore <> wrote:
>> I would like to make it be the case that anyone could submit a document written with their favorite word processor, and for that document to be converted to whatever format we want to use.   I actually think this is feasible for document submission.
> This works if the draft is written by a single person.
> This approach does not lend itself to cooperative editing, for many reasons.
> Grüße, Carsten