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

John C Klensin <> Sat, 31 October 2020 15:54 UTC

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Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2020 11:53:47 -0400
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Larry Masinter <>, Mark Andrews <>
cc: Benjamin Kaduk <>, Working Group Chairs <>, RFC Interest <>,, IETF Discussion Mailing List <>
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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Clever idea but --

 (1) We already have rules against people making such
	references.  The RFC Editor Function has been enforcing
	those rules for references within and between RFCs for
	decades. After this discussion, if paying more attention
	to that is even possible, I'm confident they will do it.
 (2) If people are determined to break that rule, it is
	not clear to me that some additional words will either
	prevent their doing it or convince them to include the
	format / rendering information in their references.
 (3) It is also not clear to me that assorted markup
	templates (not only our xml2rfc one but those of
	external journals and publishers have a good place to
	put that information, especially if we do not invent,
	and publicize, a standard way to reference RFCs that
	includes that information (which would be odd, given
	that we are trying to stamp it out (see(1) above and one
	or two of my earlier notes). 
 (4) At least for shorter documents, if people are really
	determined to use page numbers but we leave them off of
	paginated documents, they will simply count and then use
	them (perhaps as "fifth page", rather than "page 5")
	just as many of us have been counting paragraphs within
	sections and referring to, e.g., "the third paragraph of
	Section 5" for years.
 (5) If we are going to do anything other than putting
	the page numbers into the plain text form (and leaving
	them in the PDF form) or trying to punish anyone who is
	ignorant or backward enough to want to use the plain
	text form for any purpose (presumably included
	tree-hatred), then, IMO, we should just put them in
	(along with the headers and footers) and move on.

--On Thursday, October 29, 2020 10:02 -0700 Larry Masinter
<> wrote:

> If you're concerned about people seeing different pagination
> depending on format, you could change the page numbers at the
> bottom of .txt pages to be
>  Author                                  Shortname
>                            docname.txt[Page 2]
> and the numbers at the bottom of pages in PDF similarly to have
>     docname.pdf[Page 2]
> where docname is either rfcNNNN or draft-ietf-wgname-NN
> it's better if the page identifier at the bottom of the page
> identifies the context anyway.
> Put it outside the [Page NN] brackets for backward
> compatibility :)