Re: [Tools-discuss] [rfc-i] what metric replaces page-count?

Nico Williams <> Tue, 13 April 2021 16:26 UTC

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Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2021 11:26:38 -0500
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From: Nico Williams <>
To: Michael Richardson <>
Cc: rfc-interest <>, tools-discuss <>
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Subject: Re: [Tools-discuss] [rfc-i] what metric replaces page-count?
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On Tue, Apr 13, 2021 at 12:09:21PM -0400, Michael Richardson wrote:
> Nico Williams <> wrote:
>     > 8.   Basic encoding rules
>     > ...
>     > 8.19 Encoding of an object identifier value
>     > 8.19.1 The encoding of an object identifier value shall be primitive.
> I personally find this presentation ugly and very disruptive to reading.
> If the size of the "8.19.1" could diminish such that it was significantly
> smaller, than I'd be happy.  That might be a matter of some extra CSS.
> (When CSS was invented, I was told we were supposed to be able to cascade
> local CSS, but in practice, that has always been difficult)

Well, it is somewhat disruptive because the section numbering indents
the first paragraph of the untitled section.  But the net benefit of
this style is that it permits highly specific references, and as an
implementor I find that convenient.

>     > This is almost like having paragraph numbering as a sort of sub-section
>     > numbering, except that you can see that's not quite the rule (e.g.,
>     > x.690 section 8.19.2 has two paragraphs).  But I would be fine with that
>     > too.
> So, in your view, the size metric would then be the number of sections.

For documents written in this style, yes.  Generally, no.

It has been pointed out to me that "extra CSS" is all I need to get
visible paragraph numbering in HTML renderings.  A button to make them
visible would be a better UI.  (Writing CSS is not a UI.)

If we want to be able to use paragraph numbering as a short-hand
references, I think we'll want to a) standardize on reference form (when
not using URIs), like 1.2.3-4, b) have paragraph numbering be visible by
default, at least in txt and PDF renderings.  I suspect most would find
visible paragraph numbering disruptive to reading, so I won't bother
proposing that :)  The x.690 examples I gave are a bit less extreme than
numbering every paragraph, so maybe more acceptable?