Re: [xml2rfc] Insufficiency of txt format

Paul Kyzivat <pkyzivat@alum.mit.edu> Sun, 31 January 2021 22:36 UTC

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References: <20210130190821.7504E6D02AD4@ary.qy>
From: Paul Kyzivat <pkyzivat@alum.mit.edu>
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Date: Sun, 31 Jan 2021 17:36:01 -0500
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Subject: Re: [xml2rfc] Insufficiency of txt format
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On 1/30/21 2:08 PM, John Levine wrote:
> In article <8735yje4kt.fsf@fifthhorseman.net> you write:
>> -=-=-=-=-=-
>> 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?
> 
> The text version is basically to provide some degree of backward
> compatibility. If you want a version that is easy to read, I encourage
> you to open your web browser and look at the HTML version.

Of more concern, AFAIK the only reasonable diff tools work on the txt 
version. IIRC there was once talk of creating a diff tool that worked on 
the xml, but I haven't heard of any such thing materialized. I think 
that would present great challenges, especially if the xml is 
aesthetically revised while preserving the look. And I would still want 
to see the diff results in side-by-side form. Also that won't work when 
one of the versions being diffed predates v3 xml.

And when using the txt version for diffs it then the complete txt 
version you want to look at for broader context than the diff provides.

The only way I have seen to reasonably manage differences in documents 
with fancier formatting is with change history, such as provided by 
MSWord. We clearly don't have that with v3 xml.

	Thanks,
	Paul