[Docs] [txt|pdf|xml] [Tracker] [Email] [Diff1] [Diff2] [Nits]

Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 draft-iab-rfc-plaintext

Network Working Group                                        H. Flanagan
Internet-Draft                                                RFC Editor
Intended status: Informational                           October 1, 2014
Expires: April 4, 2015


                    Requirements for Plain-Text RFCs
                      draft-flanagan-plaintext-04

Abstract

   In 2013, after a great deal of community discussion, the decision was
   made to shift from the plain-text, ASCII-only canonical format to
   XML.  The high-level requirements for the format of RFCs were defined
   in RFC6949, "RFC Series Format Requirements and Future Development."
   Several different publication formats will be rendered from that
   canonical XML, including HTML, PDF, TXT, and EPUB.  This draft
   documents the change in requirements and layout for the plain-text
   RFC publication format.

Editorial Note (To be removed by the RFC Editor)

   Discussion of this draft takes place on the rfc-interest mailing list
   (rfc-interest@rfc-editor.org), which has its home page at
   https://www.rfc-editor.org/mailman/listinfo/rfc-interest.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at http://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on April 4, 2015.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2014 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.




Flanagan                  Expires April 4, 2015                 [Page 1]


Internet-Draft              Abbreviated Title               October 2014


   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Character Encoding  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Figures and Artwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   4.  General Page Format Layout  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     4.1.  Headers and Footers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     4.2.  Table of Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     4.3.  Line Width  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     4.4.  Line Spacing  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     4.5.  Hyphenation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   5.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   6.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   7.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   8.  Change Log for the Draft  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     8.1.  -03 to -04  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     8.2.  -02 to -03  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     8.3.  -01 to -02  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   9.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     9.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     9.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7

1.  Introduction

   The decision was made in May 2013 to shift from the plain-text,
   ASCII-only canonical format to XML [XML-ANNOUNCE].  The high-level
   requirements for the format of RFCs were defined in "RFC Series
   Format Requirements and Future Development" [RFC6949].  Several
   different publication formats will be rendered from that canonical
   XML, including HTML, PDF, TXT, and EPUB [I-D.flanagan-rfc-framework].

   The Unicode Consortium defines 'plain text' as "Computer-encoded text
   that consists only of a sequence of code points from a given
   standard, with no other formatting or structural information.  Plain
   text interchange is commonly used between computer systems that do
   not share higher-level protocols." [unicode-glossary]




Flanagan                  Expires April 4, 2015                 [Page 2]


Internet-Draft              Abbreviated Title               October 2014


   A plain-text output for RFCs will continue to be required for the
   foreseeable future.  The details of what that means for RFCs in terms
   of which character encoding may be used, what the page layout will
   look like, how to handle figures and artwork, and how pagination will
   be handled, are documented in this memo.

   The following assumptions drive the changes in the plain-text output
   for RFCs:

   o  The existing tools used by the RFC Editor and many members of the
      author community to create the text file are complicated to change
      and support; manual manipulation is often required for the final
      output.  In particular, handling page breaks and associated widows
      and orphans for paginated output is tricky.

   o  Additional publication formats--for example: PDF, HTML-- will be
      available that will offer features such as markup, pretty
      printing, etc.

   o  There is an extensive tool chain in existence among the community
      to work with plain-text documents.  Similar functionality may be
      possible with other publication formats, but the workflow that
      uses the existing tool chain should be supported as much as is
      considered practical.

   Where practical, the original guidance for the structure of a plain-
   text RFC has been kept, such as with line lengths, lines per page,
   etc.  [INS2AUTH]

   Note that this document provides guidance for plain-text RFCs;
   Internet-Drafts are out of scope.

2.  Character Encoding

   Plain-text files for RFCs will use the UTF-8 [RFC3629] character
   encoding.  That said, the use of non-ASCII characters will be only
   allowed in a limited and controlled fashion.  The details regarding
   the guidance for how to include non-ASCII characters is under
   development and documented in "The Use of Non-ASCII Characters in
   RFCs" [I-D.flanagan-nonascii].  Please view the PDF version of that
   draft.

   The plain-text file will include a byte order mark (BOM) to provide
   text reader software with in-band information about the character
   encoding scheme used.






Flanagan                  Expires April 4, 2015                 [Page 3]


Internet-Draft              Abbreviated Title               October 2014


3.  Figures and Artwork

   Authors may continue to include figures drawn with ASCII characters.
   If the canonical format includes figures or artwork other than ASCII-
   art, then the plain-text output must include a pointer to the
   relevant figure in the HTML version of the RFC to allow readers to
   see the relevant artwork.

   Authors who wish to include ASCII-art for the plain-text file and SVG
   art for the other outputs may do so, but they should be aware of the
   potential for confusion to individuals reading the RFC with two
   unique diagrams describing the same content.  If there is conflicting
   information between the publication formats, please review the XML or
   PDF files to resolve the conflict.

4.  General Page Format Layout

   One plain-text output will be created during the publication process
   with basic pagination that includes a form feed instruction every 58
   lines at most, including blank lines.  Instructions or a script will
   be made available by and for the community to strip out pagination as
   per individual preference.

4.1.  Headers and Footers

   The front matter on the front page (such as the RFC number and
   category), and the back matter on the last page (the author's full
   names and contact information) will continue with the structure
   described in RFC 5741 [RFC5741], "RFC Streams, Headers, and
   Boilerplates".  Given the removal of the pagination requirement,
   running headers and footers will no longer exist.

4.2.  Table of Contents

   Given the removal of the pagination requirement, the Table of
   Contents will list section and subsection numbers and titles, but
   will not include page numbers.

4.3.  Line Width

   Each line must be limited to 72 characters followed by the character
   sequence that denotes an end-of-line (EOL).  This limit includes any
   left-side indentation.

   Note: A plain-text RFC is expected to be stored on a disk file using
   the EOL sequence of that system.  For example, MS DOS-based systems
   use the two-character sequence: CR LF (Carriage Return followed by




Flanagan                  Expires April 4, 2015                 [Page 4]


Internet-Draft              Abbreviated Title               October 2014


   Line Feed), Unix systems use the single character LF for EOL, and
   EBCDIC systems use the single character NL (New Line).

   Whenever an RFC is transmitted across the Internet, Internet protocol
   convention requires that each line of text be followed by the two-
   character EOL sequence CR LF (Carriage Return followed by Line Feed).
   A user level protocol (e.g., FTP, Telnet, HTTP, SMTP, ...) must make
   the appropriate EOL transformation at each line end.  Note that
   binary transmission of plain-text RFC files can cause the sender's
   EOL convention to "leak" into the receiver, causing confusion.

4.4.  Line Spacing

   Use single-spaced text within a paragraph, and one blank line between
   paragraphs.

4.5.  Hyphenation

   Hyphenated words, including hyphenated word sequences (e.g.,
   "Internet-Draft"), should not be split across successive lines.

5.  Acknowledgements

   This draft owes a great deal of thanks to the efforts of the RFC
   Format Design Team: Nevil Brownlee, Tony Hansen, Joe Hildebrand, Paul
   Hoffman, Ted Lemon, Julian Reschke, Adam Roach, Alice Russo, Robert
   Sparks, and David Thaler.

6.  IANA Considerations

   This memo includes no requests to IANA.

7.  Security Considerations

   TBD.

8.  Change Log for the Draft

8.1.  -03 to -04

   Change Log for the Draft: forgot to complete the change log between
   the various revisions of the draft

8.2.  -02 to -03

   Abstract: expanded

   Introduction: adjusted language of assumptions



Flanagan                  Expires April 4, 2015                 [Page 5]


Internet-Draft              Abbreviated Title               October 2014


   Figures and Artwork: adjusted to indicate where to go in case
   information for the images conflicts between different formats

   General Page Layout: switched back to producing one basic paginated
   format, with an expectation of instructions and/or a script to create
   local, unpaginated copies for individual use.

8.3.  -01 to -02

   Introduction: added pointer to original page layout information

   Character encoding: clarified language around encoding and use of
   BOMs

   General Page Format Layout: removed increased line width requirement;
   added sections on Line Width, Line Spacing, and Hyphenation (pulled
   from 2223-bis

9.  References

9.1.  Normative References

   [I-D.flanagan-nonascii]
              Flanagan, H., "The Use of Non-ASCII Characters in RFCs",
              draft-flanagan-nonascii-03 (work in progress), July 2014.

   [I-D.flanagan-rfc-framework]
              Flanagan, H., "RFC Format Framework", draft-flanagan-rfc-
              framework-01 (work in progress), September 2014.

   [RFC3629]  Yergeau, F., "UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO
              10646", STD 63, RFC 3629, November 2003.

   [RFC5741]  Daigle, L., Kolkman, O., and IAB, "RFC Streams, Headers,
              and Boilerplates", RFC 5741, December 2009.

   [RFC6949]  Flanagan, H. and N. Brownlee, "RFC Series Format
              Requirements and Future Development", RFC 6949, May 2013.

9.2.  Informative References

   [INS2AUTH]
              RFC Editor, "Instructions to Request for Comments (RFC)
              Authors", August 2004, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc-
              editor/instructions2authors.txt>.






Flanagan                  Expires April 4, 2015                 [Page 6]


Internet-Draft              Abbreviated Title               October 2014


   [XML-ANNOUNCE]
              Flanagan, H., ""Subject: Direction of the RFC Format
              Development effort", message to the rfc-interest@rfc-
              editor.org mailing list", May 2013, <http://www.rfc-
              editor.org/pipermail/rfc-interest/2013-May/005584.html >.

   [unicode-glossary]
              The Unicode Consortium, "Glossary of Unicode Terms", 2014,
              <http://www.unicode.org/glossary/>.

Author's Address

   Heather Flanagan
   RFC Editor

   Email: rse@rfc-editor.org



































Flanagan                  Expires April 4, 2015                 [Page 7]


Html markup produced by rfcmarkup 1.129c, available from https://tools.ietf.org/tools/rfcmarkup/