Re: [rfc-i] Jim: Re: FIXED: Poll: RFCs with page numbers (pretty please) ? (was: Re: John/rsoc: Re: Page numbers in RFCs questions / preferences)

Toerless Eckert <tte@cs.fau.de> Thu, 29 October 2020 19:57 UTC

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Date: Thu, 29 Oct 2020 20:57:37 +0100
From: Toerless Eckert <tte@cs.fau.de>
To: Christian Huitema <huitema@huitema.net>
Cc: Donald Eastlake <d3e3e3@gmail.com>, Warren Kumari <warren@kumari.net>, Working Group Chairs <wgchairs@ietf.org>, Phillip Hallam-Baker <phill@hallambaker.com>, John Levine <ietf@johnlevine.com>, IETF Discussion Mailing List <ietf@ietf.org>, RFC Interest <rfc-interest@rfc-editor.org>, rsoc@iab.org, John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>, jay@ietf.org
Subject: Re: [rfc-i] Jim: Re: FIXED: Poll: RFCs with page numbers (pretty please) ? (was: Re: John/rsoc: Re: Page numbers in RFCs questions / preferences)
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[Cc'in Jay explicitly]

Btw: i had created initiall a poll to start this thread:

  https://www.poll-maker.com/poll3188562x294441dA-98

[ after i was previously already told to not revive this topic. And of course
  the poll was met with procedural resistance as well, such as claiming polls is not what
  (IETF) we do, or that its subject to attacks. I did get from those comments
  mostly a feeling of personal hostility against me, but of course i was also
  told in other threads that it is inappropriate to question or even discuss peer
  reasonings.  So i will leave it at that, even though i think outside of
  personal hostilities there are a lot more important aspects why discussing
  motivations would be really helpfull to the IETF communications culture 
  (hint: commercial reasonings that are not discussed). ]

Be that as it may: 

I very much like Jay Daley's in-development questionaire for draft/rfc authors
to understand the creation side of dealing with running xmlv3 code.

I asked Jay, if there where similar plans for the consumption side, and he said no.

So i think it would probably be good if folks who think the consumption side options
for our work product are not perfect could chime in and show interest for a
similar questionare to be made for such consumption aspects - such as
available, IETF provided formats including their details such as page
numbers. I am sure there is a lot more consumption side aspects to query.

Cheers
    Toerless

On Thu, Oct 29, 2020 at 12:32:39PM -0700, Christian Huitema wrote:
> I think I agree with Warren and Donald. The primary purpose of our
> specifications is to provide guidance to people implementing and
> deploying protocols. This requires that specifications are easy to read,
> whether as text, or HTML, or PDF. And "ease of reading" requires a table
> of content, with page numbers if the presentation format uses pages.
> 
> I understand the argument that people might them misuse these page
> numbers, as in "page 16 said that you MUST do this." That could be bad,
> especially if that argument happens during some kind of legal dispute.
> But let's not lose sight of the main goal of the series, which is NOT
> "solving legal dispute". If it were, the RFC ought to be formatted much
> like legal documents, numbering not just every section but every
> paragraph as well. We won't do that, because that would harm our primary
> objective, easy to access and read by implementers and users. Instead of
> solving the "legal reference" problem by making documents harder to
> read, we need to find another way. Maybe point to a reference rendering
> of the official XML text, or something like that.
> 
> -- Christian Huitema
> 
> On 10/29/2020 12:10 PM, Donald Eastlake wrote:
> > I endorse Warren's comments. I use the text versions heavily and I
> > believe that one of the formats available should preserve the
> > traditional RFC format.
> >
> > -- All formats should have a Tables of Content. (Well, I guess I would
> > agree that if an RFC had less than two sections, it wouldn't need a
> > ToC, but I don't see how that is possible with the current requirements.)
> >
> > -- If a format is paginated, it should have page numbers. (A warning
> > could be added something like "Warning: The page numbers in this
> > document depend on its presentation format and will differ in other
> > renditions.")
> >
> > -- If a format has a ToC and pages numbers, those page numbers should
> > appear in the ToC and just before the ToC would be a good place for
> > the warning suggested above.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Donald
> > ===============================
> >  Donald E. Eastlake 3rd   +1-508-333-2270 (cell)
> >  2386 Panoramic Circle, Apopka, FL 32703 USA
> >  d3e3e3@gmail.com <mailto:d3e3e3@gmail.com>
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 4:02 PM Warren Kumari <warren@kumari.net
> > <mailto:warren@kumari.net>> wrote:
> >
> >     On Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 3:20 PM John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com
> >     <mailto:john-ietf@jck.com>> wrote:
> >     >
> >     [ Massive SNIP ]
> >
> >     >
> >     >  (a) They are traditional in the RFC Series and
> >     >         preserving that rendering in a format consistent with a
> >     >         significant fraction of the first 7000 or so of RFCs
> >     >         would seem to have some advantages.  Of course, no one
> >     >         is forced to use them, any more than anyone has been
> >     >         forced to use the standard text form since HTML and PDF
> >     >         forms became generally available years ago.
> >     >
> >     >  (b) Of the fraction of the community that still prefers
> >     >         to use the plain text form (at least sometimes) and for
> >     >         one purpose or another, some fraction of them prefer to
> >     >         have the headers and footers and many of those prefer,
> >     >         or are not disturbed by, the page numbers.  Because many
> >     >         of the arguments against page numbers seem to be coming
> >     >         from people who do not find the plain text form useful,
> >     >         probably we should pay attention to that preference ...
> >     >         or start making the case for getting rid of the plain
> >     >         text form entirely, perhaps because those who prefer it
> >     >         (for any purpose) need to be persuaded to join the
> >     >         modern era and get with the programs.
> >     >
> >
> >     I realize you aren't actually pushing this point, but this seemed like
> >     the clearest expression of one of my concerns with this entire thread,
> >     and so I'm choosing to hook onto it...
> >
> >     Full disclosure:
> >     I'm one of the people who both believes that there is value in the
> >     "traditional" aspect of the series, and the fact that RFC17 looks the
> >     same as RFC42, which looks the same as RFC4217, which looks the same
> >     as RFC8217 is a good thing.
> >     I also like and use the text formats - I sometimes print out RFCS, I
> >     have tooling which greps through documents for things, I generate
> >     statistics, etc. It's a personal preference.
> >
> >     I've gotten 2 distinctly negative impressions from this thread:
> >     1: "You need to join the modern era and get with the program" sums it
> >     up well. HTML / flowed output is the new world, liking the text format
> >     is bad and you should feel bad[0].
> >
> >     2: There were extensive discussions around the new format, and the
> >     lack of page numbers was mentioned. You were not paying attention when
> >     this happened. Not only do you lose any right to discuss this, but you
> >     were lazy and should feel bad.
> >
> >     I'll happily admit that I didn't follow the new format discussions
> >     closely, and that I do read a lot of things (including books) in
> >     formats which don't have clear "pages", but the thing that is worrying
> >     me is the underlying "and you should feel bad" tone in much of this
> >     discussion.
> >
> >     Perhaps I'm being overly sensitive (or that I just miss seeing IETFers
> >     in person), but it feels to me like the "and you should feel bad"
> >     subtext seems to be cropping up more and more. We used to generally
> >     assume that someone who had a bad or silly idea just had a bad or
> >     silly *idea* - but it now we often seem to be implying that the person
> >     is bad or silly.
> >
> >     Other than being able to meet in person again, I'm not sure how we get
> >     back to where our base assumptions are that other IETFers are friends,
> >     and are also trying to do the right thing...
> >
> >     W
> >     [0]: Meme reminder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG2KMkQLZmI
> >
> >
> >     > Probably I'm missing something important but, if the above
> >     > analysis is even nearly correct, I don't understand why we are
> >     > still having this conversation.
> >     >
> >     >     john
> >     >
> >
> >
> >     -- 
> >     I don't think the execution is relevant when it was obviously a bad
> >     idea in the first place.
> >     This is like putting rabid weasels in your pants, and later expressing
> >     regret at having chosen those particular rabid weasels and that pair
> >     of pants.
> >        ---maf
> >

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