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

Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de> Sat, 27 February 2021 18:14 UTC

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To: Nico Williams <nico@cryptonector.com>
Cc: xml2rfc@ietf.org
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From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
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Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2021 19:14:02 +0100
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Subject: Re: [xml2rfc] assuming that period (.) ends a sentence is sometimes wrong
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Am 27.02.2021 um 19:01 schrieb Nico Williams:
> On Sat, Feb 27, 2021 at 06:40:53PM +0100, Julian Reschke wrote:
>> Am 27.02.2021 um 18:30 schrieb Nico Williams:
>>> Is that XML or xml2rfc forcing that?
>>
>> People rely on whitespace being insignificant inside <t> and similar
>> elements. For instance, for indentation.
>
> But what makes whitespace in <t> insignificant?  If it's xml2rfc, then
> that can be changed.

Whitespace is insignificant everywhere except in <artwork> and <sourecode>.

People rely on this. Think indentation.

>>>> The third answer is: stop trying to. Optimizing the plain text output
>>>> format really really is not important.
>>>
>>> Not acceptable.
>>
>> I just opened a random ancient RFC I'm familiar with (2068), and it
>> hasn't two spaces after a sentence ending. At least not consistently.
>
> So?

So it apparently has been "acceptable" in the past.

>> So exactly when became this a "requirement"? And who determines what
>> "acceptable" for plain text output?
>
> It's very much a thing in typography to follow sentence-ending periods
> with a wide space precisely to distinguish from non-sentence-ending
> periods.

If you search for this on the web, you'll find lots of discussions about
this topic, and I don't thing there's universal agreement on that. Fpr
instance, see <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentence_spacing>.

In any case: now that there are official HTML versions, the
"readability" of the text variant IMHO is not a big concern anymore. If
you want something that is easy to read, take the HTML or PDF versions.

Best regards, Julian