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

David Noveck <> Tue, 27 October 2020 23:36 UTC

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From: David Noveck <>
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2020 19:36:24 -0400
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Subject: Re: FIXED: Poll: RFCs with page numbers (pretty please) ? (was: Re: John/rsoc: Re: Page numbers in RFCs questions / preferences)
To: Phillip Hallam-Baker <>
Cc: Toerless Eckert <>, Working Group Chairs <>, RFC Interest <>,, John Levine <>, IETF Discussion Mailing List <>
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The issue comes up with PDF files.  Currently, you get page numbers
together with a TOC that has no page numbers.  I'm OK with a no-TXT option
but I have a problem with a not-usefully-printable option for RFCs.

On Tue, Oct 27, 2020, 6:51 PM Phillip Hallam-Baker <>

> 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