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

Warren Kumari <> Mon, 12 April 2021 17:13 UTC

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From: Warren Kumari <>
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2021 13:12:16 -0400
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To: Carsten Bormann <>
Cc: Richard Barnes <>, rfc-interest <>, tools-discuss <>
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Subject: Re: [Tools-discuss] [rfc-i] what metric replaces page-count?
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On Mon, Apr 12, 2021 at 12:46 PM Carsten Bormann <> wrote:

> On 2021-04-12, at 16:55, Richard Barnes <> wrote:
> >
> > Lawyers and judges are happy to cite by section.  Time to move on from
> tired, inaccurate metaphors.
> Yes, but assessing the size of a document (which is what this thread is
> about) by section count doesn’t work so well.  The page count of the PDF is
> the only ready-made metric we have today.  Putting in another metric (e.g.,
> word count(*)) might be helpful.

I must admit that Richard's mail really annoyed me -- I started writing a
replay, but then realized that it was ranty and not likely to change
anyone's views.
I've now calmed down somewhat, and so will try and explain.

The tone of "Time to move on from tired, inaccurate metaphors" smacks of
stating a position as fact, and that disagreement means that you are stuck
in the dark ages / ab absurdo.

I've been using page count as a metric for tracking the amount of document
review I've performed, how much I'm reading, etc. Yes, it's not a perfect
metric, but it's one I've been using and is "good enough" for letting me
know roughly how much I've reviewed this month versus last month, how much
I've read in total, etc. I've got a system, and it works *for me*.
I really disliked the tone of "Time to move on from..." - I understand that
Richard doesn't happen like this metric - but I'm disappointed that,
increasingly, if you don't agree with someone in the IETF, the tone pivots
to implying that there is something wrong with them, or that they are
stupid, or similar...


> Grüße, Carsten
> (*) ...where that often doesn’t actually count words but characters and
> then divides that count by 6 (or 5!), which better copes with different
> complexity grades.
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The computing scientist’s main challenge is not to get confused by the
complexities of his own making.
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