Re: [xml2rfc] [rfc-i] whose on first

Julian Reschke <> Sat, 20 February 2021 07:25 UTC

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To: Carsten Bormann <>
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From: Julian Reschke <>
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Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2021 08:24:48 +0100
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Subject: Re: [xml2rfc] [rfc-i] whose on first
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Am 20.02.2021 um 08:08 schrieb Carsten Bormann:
> On 20. Feb 2021, at 07:01, Julian Reschke <> wrote:
>> Note that the <format> element was deprecated in RFC 7991 for good
>> reasons: it had no proper docs, and was inconsistently used. If there's
>> a use case for it, it should be written down properly, and then the
>> element could be resurrected.
> Interesting.
> I know of only one usage, and that is quite well established:  Providing multiple link targets that differ in their format.
> Well, it sometimes was used for single links with the intention to give the format of the one target provided.
> I find a lot of examples of the single link use in the RFC repository, the most recent one in RFC 8979 from this month.
> RFC 8795 has one with
>            <format type="TXT" target=""/>
>            <format type="PDF" target=""/>
> What was the usage inconsistent with that?
> (I would understand an argument that we don’t know how to render it in general, or that it has an attribute named “octets” :eyeroll:, but not that it was inconsistently used.  Obviously, RFC 7749/7991 was the opportunity to write it down less poorly.)

1) It's (AFAIR) not covered by the style guide.

2) RFC 7749 says in

> 2.18. <format>
> Provides a link to an additional format variant for a reference.
> Note that these additional links are neither used in published RFCs nor supported by all tools. If the goal is to provide a single URI for a reference, the "target" attribute on <reference> can be used instead.
> This element appears as a child element of <reference> (Section 2.30).
> Content model: this element does not have any contents.

I believe back then it was rendered in HTML but not in text, or the
other way around.

3) If you look at the output formats for 8979 and 8795 you see that the
links indeed are not rendered (I checked text and HTML). I'll also note
that the Internet Draft references point to, which likely
is in conflict with the RFC Style Guide.

Best regards, Julian