Re: [xml2rfc] assuming that period (.) ends a sentence is sometimes wrong

Brian E Carpenter <> Sun, 28 February 2021 21:59 UTC

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To: Paul Kyzivat <>,
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From: Brian E Carpenter <>
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Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2021 10:59:16 +1300
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Subject: Re: [xml2rfc] assuming that period (.) ends a sentence is sometimes wrong
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On 01-Mar-21 09:55, Paul Kyzivat wrote:
> On 2/28/21 2:51 PM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
>> On 01-Mar-21 06:54, John R Levine wrote:
>>>> Provided it doesn't also lose alternative Unicode whitespace characters,
>>>> using &emsp; is an option. In a pinch we could have an element to mark
>>>> the end of a sentence (<s/>).
>>> At the end of every sentence? That's, uh, quite a stretch. Are we sure
>>> this problem is worth that much effort by every author?
>> Since we're designing on the hoof here, I suggest you'd need a construct like
>> <literal value="Philip R. Zimmermann"/>.
>> But much simpler to scrap the double space rule.
> Two things are being muddled here:
> 1) two spaces at end of sentences in .txt output;
> 2) how two distinguish sentence endings by xml2rfc in xml input.
> There has been *some* discussion of using two spaces in the input for 
> (2), but it doesn't work that way now and there are many issues in 
> changing it to work that way. It isn't evident to me that it is a 
> serious proposal.
> *If* we had a reliable method for (2) then I doubt there would be much 
> issue with (1). The problem is that the existing method for (2) isn't 
> reliable.
> I haven't checked, but I presume the current problems (2) are also 
> exhibited in html output.

Why would they be? The html format has single spaces. (Just checked in
RFC8981, which was announced half an hour ago.)

> ISTM that the real question is whether authors will be willing to 
> manually annotate the xml input to indicate sentence endings. I haven't 
> seen any proposal mentioned that I would willingly use on a regular 
> basis. I would rather suffer with the existing heuristic.

But much simpler to scrap the double space rule.