Watching engineers implement specs as code I note that most use
secondary sources such as O'Rielly in preference to the supposedly
authoritative IETF specs. The lack of readability is a major reason.
This is not the case with W3C specs.
There is very little point spending time perfecting text that is only
ever going to be read by the author of the O'Rielly nutshell book.
The real standard is the bits on the real wire. If those are coded from
O'Rielly then O'Rielly, not the IETF is the standards setter.
I don't recall seeing ASCII art in O'Rielly books.
Leave the ASCII art for recreational use. If you want to be regarded as
a professional organization then make sure that every communication
looks professional. ASCII art screams 'amateur'.
Behalf Of Lars-Erik Jonsson (LU/EAB)
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 9:19 AM
To: Gray, Eric; Stewart Bryant
Subject: RE: Diagrams (Was RFCs should be distributed in XML)
Very well stated!!!
The ASCII-requirement is (apart from being a compact,
generic, free, non-complex, document format) indirectly
forcing people to really make diagrams simple, i.e. not put
too much crap (complexity) in one single figure.
After having had to read documents from other organisations
people often cite as "SDO's", I am personally convinced that
the good sides of using ASCII completely outweights the
potential negative aspects.
I suspect most people prefer reading documents that
but anything that limits the complexity of a diagram -
documents most often read on a computer screen - is a
than a bug.
If a diagram is included to communicate (rather than
idea, then readers should be able to correlate descriptive
text to the
diagram - either because the diagram is simple enough that
it is not
necessary to keep referring to it, or because the entire
can be viewed while looking at the diagram.
Sometimes language limitations are a good thing, when
they are tied
to specific ways of presenting information.
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