Re: [Tools-discuss] Why do we even have text formats any more?

Carsten Bormann <> Wed, 28 July 2021 07:33 UTC

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From: Carsten Bormann <>
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Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2021 09:33:26 +0200
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Subject: Re: [Tools-discuss] Why do we even have text formats any more?
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On 28. Jul 2021, at 04:22, Robert Sparks <> wrote:
> And finally, to your footnote, raising "why aren't people submitting XML?" - I've seen recently that there is fear from some seasoned submitters that the processor at the datatracker will get the references wrong. This is tied up with working in v2 and the issues we are working to correct with bibxml generation. Mitigating that fear will have an impact on the xml submission rate, I think.

Until recently, submitting TXT was the easy way to work around the mistreatment of hybrid XML by the submission process(*).
It will take some time until that gets out of people’s head.

The htmlizer did a mostly useful service for v2 users that the HTML output did not have: Adding links for section references.
V3 can now do that, but it requires conscious keyboarding(**); htmlizer completely automated that (but got it wrong occasionally).

I wrote a small PoC for a database of places where htmlizer gets it wrong with the necessary substitutions.
The cognitive barrier that v2 is obsolete might prevent that feature from happening.

Grüße, Carsten

(*) People used to submit TXT for most of the life of the I-D repository.
Then it became possible to submit XML along with that, which didn’t add anything except for archiving the XML as well.
But when the submission process started rejecting or mishandling submissions because XML came with them, everybody learned that it is a bad idea to send the XML, and TXT it was, again.

(**) Of course, in kramdown-rfc,

  Section 4.2.1 of {{RFC8949}}

simply becomes

  {{Section 4.2.1 of RFC8949}}

but for people keyboarding XML, manually adding section references is a bit more nightmarish:

From a recent AUTH48 (which still forces me to get in contact with XML):
     <t>IANA has created a new "<xref section="SenML Features" sectionFormat="bare" target="IANA.SENML"
     relative="#senml-features"/>" subregistry within
     the "Sensor Measurement Lists (SenML)" registry <xref target="IANA.SENML" format="default"/> with the

I can’t blame people who don’t want to make that effort.