Re: [Tools-discuss] .txt? [I-D Action: draft-xxx.txt]

Brian E Carpenter <> Tue, 29 June 2021 21:35 UTC

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To: Toerless Eckert <>, Warren Kumari <>
Cc: John R Levine <>, Tools Discussion <>
References: <20210627013258.1D30F188447C@ary.qy> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
From: Brian E Carpenter <>
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Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2021 09:34:52 +1200
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Subject: Re: [Tools-discuss] .txt? [I-D Action: draft-xxx.txt]
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On 30-Jun-21 04:31, Toerless Eckert wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 29, 2021 at 09:54:24AM -0400, Warren Kumari wrote:
>>> 3. SVG. Hard work to use, but well worth it.
>> Again, see #1. I believe that requiring that complex things be
>> explainable using ASCII art was a feature - if your protocol is
>> sufficiently complex that it cannot be easily explained using words
>> and ascii art, it's probably too complex.
> I looked at the RFCs with SVG given as examples on the URL earlier here
> in this thread. Unfortunately, these all had only SVG that where not
> a bit more useful than their ASCII renderings. so no points scored for SVG
> in the v3 marketing materials.

That's really a matter of opinion and in the reader's brain, not the writer's.
But basically I agree with EKR.
> I am not sure what you call "protocol", , but there is certainly more in
> RFCs than just what would fit ASCII art:
> Think of all the draft/RFCs in IRTF that want to have actual
> measurement diagrams like research papers have them. Try to render those
> in ASCII. Or graphics showing some forwarding plane / chip architecture,
> or real-world topologies of large networks of interest.
> If i could just figure out the workflow to take some existing bitmap
> and abuse SVG to include it into a draft. Still not sure if that
> (bitmap in SVG) is even allowed by the XMLv3 laws

Well, see the two attached files. The first one is png produced by gnuplot. The second one is SVG produced by gnuplot, and then run through my SVG 
color fixer followed by the IETF's SVG checker.

Since gnuplot is the de facto standard for producing plots in academic articles, I think we are fine.


>>> 4. Using tools that are currently maintained.
>> Tools like the XML2RFC XMLMind plugin were working just fine with the
>> V2 format; every few years I'd release a new version when XMLMind
>> updated their major version, but it was literally just a version bump.
>> Same thing for my "copy the last RFC, change the title and words". #4
>> sounds very much like "people weren't keeping the tools maintained the
>> way we liked, so we made a breaking change to force them to abandon
>> what they were doing, and use what we think is better.
> Did v2 and does v3 have incremental enhancements ? If the language(s)
> are themselves fixed, then tool maintenance would only be necessary
> if other conditions change, like in your case XMLMind. If one builds a
> standalone tool, maintenance might not even be necessary.
> Cheers
>     Toerless
>> Anyway, I realize that this ship has sailed, and I'm doing a good
>> impression of "Old Man Yells at Cloud"... but someone asked why more
>> stuff wasn't being submitted in v3 format, and this is at least one
>> set of reasons why...
>> W
>>> I've had no trouble at all editing XML in v3. The only real
>>> annoyance is that the converter can't do anything sensible with
>>> <vspace blankLines="1"/> which I used to use a lot. Everything
>>> else is trivial.
>>> (The converter insists on inserting lots of format="default"
>>> and toc="default" which are just noise and can be deleted.)
>>> Regards
>>>    Brian
>>> On 29-Jun-21 07:38, Toerless Eckert wrote:
>>>> I only converted the last rfc i was editor for during the final revisions to go to rfc,
>>>> and i only did this so i could use the only one new feature of v3 that i felt i wanted
>>>> to use, name the Contributors tag. I still don't know what else i as 
an author
>>>> would benefit from in v3.
>>>> I did find the conversion sufficient for that last mile to RFC editor, but not persuasive to
>>>> suggest it to authors if/when they want to continue doing mayor edits to the document. This
>>>> is primarily beceause the v3 ended up with a tag-verbose XMLv3 than the v2 i had
>>>> edited for years. This specifically included inlining the rfc/draft references as opposed
>>>> to keeping the references, but also several other tags that where written out more verbosely
>>>> and with a lot of default parameters (unnecessarily).  Hope i remember this all correctly.
>>>> This v2->v3 conversion process feels a bit like attempting to have a 
good idea but then
>>>> outsource the conversion cost.  Reminds me of linux. Great new SDK/Library, but now all
>>>> the third-party apps developed against an older version have to be rewritten. In comparison,
>>>> in Windows i can have 10 versions of the same core SDK co-installed and all the old but
>>>> still useful programs will still run. But no linux distributions do not support such slotting
>>>> or do not compile all old library versions, and library developers don't care about supporting
>>>> multi-slotting... *sigh*
>>>> Chers
>>>>     Toerless
>>>> On Sat, Jun 26, 2021 at 10:40:40PM -0400, John R Levine wrote:
>>>>>>> Among the many things on the to-do list is to redo the I-D submission page
>>>>>>> to make it clearer that you only need to submit one version of a draft,
>>>>>>> and that we'd appreciate the XML version if you have one.
>>>>>> Excellent. Is there any reason not to run the v2 to v3 converter automatically?
>>>>> We really want people to stop using v2.  It's obsolete and missing some
>>>>> semantic features of v3.
>>>>> Regards,
>>>>> John Levine,, Taughannock Networks, Trumansburg NY
>>>>> Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail.
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>> -- 
>> The computing scientist’s main challenge is not to get confused by the
>> complexities of his own making.
>>   -- E. W. Dijkstra