On woensdag, sep 3, 2003, at 23:34 Europe/Amsterdam, Vernon Schryver
It is just plain ***WRONG!*** to even start to consider anything but
ASCII for the official documents. As hard as it is for the unscared
to believe, even XML will fade away completely and be replaced by
something else even more wonderful, user friendly, easier for convicted
monopolies to embrace and extend, and so forth. When that happens,
there will be a new calls for "reform."
It's all very simple. The ASCII format in which RFCs are published is a
huge pain, because it puts whitespace, linebreaks, headers, footers and
page breaks in fixed places. So anyone who doesn't use the same printer
as the RFC editor is inconvenienced.
For just reading the RFC this isn't a huge deal as after the first
hundred or so you get used to it. But for editing an existing document,
it is much more painful.
Personally, I'd like to see all the extra stuff that isn't pure ASCII
with a line break after a paragraph go, but I guess this is different
for everyone. But there is one thing I'm pretty sure of: nobody edits
IDs or RFC in their native format. So why not simply make the format
used by the author available in a structured way? This isn't guaranteed
to help (the original format may only be decipherable by no longer
existing tools) but at least there is potential for more efficiency, if
the original format can stilll be read and converted.