This is the nth time we've had this discussion RE ASCII art in IETF, but
without a process for process change, no change could be made even if we
all agreed, which we never do of course. While the discussion may be
enlightening and entertaining, in the end it does nothing but waste
cycles, there can be no forward motion without a way to change the
IMO the ASCII art issue is an important case in point where it would be
good to actually resolve the issue.
Can we develop a process for process change where a proposal like 'allow
I-Ds/RFCs to be posted in Word' can be resolved?
Here's a possible approach:
1. submit a proposal to the IESG for a process change (in the form of an
2. the IESG decides by majority vote whether or not to take up the
3. if #2 is yes, arguments are made for and against by anyone (in the
form of an I-D)
4. after a specified period, IESG votes on the proposal
5. the majority decision of the IESG is binding
But how do we implement *any* such proposal for a process change
process, do we need a process for that??
P.S. Some good arguments have already been made on both sides of the
ASCII art issue. I, like many others, use Word, etc. editors capable of
sophisticated graphics, and have to struggle to convert to ASCII art in
I-Ds. IMO this is a ridiculous waste of time and loss of information!
[mailto:ietf-bounces(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org] On 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
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 contain
diagrams, but anything that limits the complexity of a diagram -
especially for documents most often read on a computer screen - is
a feature, rather than a bug.
If a diagram is included to communicate (rather than obscure)
an 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
description 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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