[xml2rfc] Unicode box-drawing for a new --table-borders value?

Daniel Kahn Gillmor <dkg@fifthhorseman.net> Fri, 29 January 2021 22:55 UTC

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From: Daniel Kahn Gillmor <dkg@fifthhorseman.net>
To: xml2rfc-dev@ietf.org, xml2rfc@ietf.org
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Date: Fri, 29 Jan 2021 17:55:14 -0500
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Subject: [xml2rfc] Unicode box-drawing for a new --table-borders value?
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Hi xml2rfc folks--

Now that we can include unicode characters in our text documents, has
anyone considered adding a new type of --table-borders flag that uses
the unicode box-drawing characters?

In particular, i'm thinking of the U+2500..U+256C range:

          .0 .1 .2 .3 .4 .5 .6 .7 .8 .9 .A .B .C .D .E .F 
     250.  ─  ━  │  ┃  ┄  ┅  ┆  ┇  ┈  ┉  ┊  ┋  ┌  ┍  ┎  ┏ 
     251.  ┐  ┑  ┒  ┓  └  ┕  ┖  ┗  ┘  ┙  ┚  ┛  ├  ┝  ┞  ┟ 
     252.  ┠  ┡  ┢  ┣  ┤  ┥  ┦  ┧  ┨  ┩  ┪  ┫  ┬  ┭  ┮  ┯ 
     253.  ┰  ┱  ┲  ┳  ┴  ┵  ┶  ┷  ┸  ┹  ┺  ┻  ┼  ┽  ┾  ┿ 
     254.  ╀  ╁  ╂  ╃  ╄  ╅  ╆  ╇  ╈  ╉  ╊  ╋  ╌  ╍  ╎  ╏ 
     255.  ═  ║  ╒  ╓  ╔  ╕  ╖  ╗  ╘  ╙  ╚  ╛  ╜  ╝  ╞  ╟ 
     256.  ╠  ╡  ╢  ╣  ╤  ╥  ╦  ╧  ╨  ╩  ╪  ╫  ╬

Looking at the use of bchar in xml2rfc/writers/text.py, it looks to me
like it should be easy enough to map three of the four border
characters:

      '=': '═',
      '-': '─',
      '|': '│',

But the corner border character ('+') has many different
options/permutations:

     '┌', '┐', '├', '┤', '┬', '┴', '┼',
     '╒', '╕', '╘', '╛', '╞', '╡', '╤', '╧', '╪'

so it's this last bit that seems challenging to implement, since it
looks like the current code just says "corners are corners" and doesn't
distinguish between all these cases.

Should i report this as an RFE on
https://trac.tools.ietf.org/tools/xml2rfc/trac/newticket or is there
some other preferred way to track such a suggestion?
https://tools.ietf.org/tools/xml2rfc/trac/report is timing out for me so
i can't tell whether it's already been reported there.

            --dkg

PS i'm thinking this because we're using some box drawing characters
   already in some of the verbatim sections (e.g. § 4.2 "Packet Headers"
   and § 6.3.  "Encoding Binary in Radix-64") and it seems a bit clunky
   to have these clean boxes adjacent to the rather clumsier US-ASCII
   table borders.