Re: document writing/editing tools used by IETF

Andrew McConachie <andrew@depht.com> Fri, 26 February 2021 11:38 UTC

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From: "Andrew McConachie" <andrew@depht.com>
To: "Julian Reschke" <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Cc: ietf@ietf.org
Subject: Re: document writing/editing tools used by IETF
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 2021 12:38:11 +0100
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On 26 Feb 2021, at 8:55, Julian Reschke wrote:

> Am 26.02.2021 um 04:18 schrieb Phillip Hallam-Baker:
>> On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 9:08 PM Larry Masinter <LMM@acm.org
>> <mailto:LMM@acm.org>> wrote:
>>
>>     Keith is talking about formats for submission. For collaboration,
>>     there's a generation of collaborative tools from Google Docs to
>>     Dropbox and Microsoft tools that are a lot better than GitHub for
>>     collaboration.
>>
>>
>> There only needs to be a single interface to the ID/RFC system.
>>
>> My model is to allow the authors to edit the drafts in Word/Markdown 
>> and
>> create HTML output close to what the ID/RFC system produces. When 
>> they
>> have agreed on an update, they send the .xml file to the submission 
>> system.
>> ...
>
> I'll +1 Carsten's "specs are code".
>
> The huge benefit of a text-based, easily-diffable format is that you 
> can
> put it under source control, and then have tools that show who changed
> what and when (and optimally why). For every single change, not just
> between submitted IDs. For instance, for the HTTP core documents, that
> history goes back to December 2007 (and it has survived conversion 
> from
> Subversion to Git).
>
> If you can do that with Word, I'd definitively like to see that.

Have folks considered setting up a MediaWiki instance and simply writing 
documents as wiki pages?

Pros:
* used by millions of people
* open source
* online collaboration
* supports multiple editing frontends
* built-in diffs
* extensive change tracking and rollback features
* built-in issue tracking
* can write in markdown
* user permissions settings for editing
* import/export anything that supports markdown

If there’s a feature you want for online collaborative document 
creation there’s a good chance MediaWiki already has it.

—Andrew