IPP> Re: WG feedback: I-Ds in HTML, etc.

IPP> Re: WG feedback: I-Ds in HTML, etc.

IPP> Re: WG feedback: I-Ds in HTML, etc.

Steve Zilles szilles at Adobe.COM
Mon Oct 27 15:11:23 EST 1997


I very much applaud efforts to  make the development of specification by
working groups be a simpler and easier to use process. In that light,
being able to use HTML would be a help. 


Carl-Uno Manros has already indicated that the IPP group has been using
PDF because it allows development of the the standards text on a variety
of platforms and allows distributing documents with change markings.


Although, it is somewhat self serving, I did want to point out that HTML
has some of the same problems that producing ASCII has. At least, tools
that produce good HTML are more easily available. But, HTML is not
really a final form format and it is primarily a text format. This means
that HTML alone will not suffice for document publication. One must also
pick a format for graphic and image data. One could use an image format
such as PNG, but then printing of the document will look awful unless
the PNG images are stored in high resolution (not currenty common for
Web documents). 


Secondly, HTML prints poorly. Some browsers have been known to print
half of one line on one page and the other half on the next page. There
is currently little or no support for headers, footers and page sizes,
although there are properties in HTML 4.0 and CSS 2.0 that will help
here. One of the nice things about the ASCII format (for better or
worse) was that the pages were already formatted and would reproduce
the same way (give or take an extra half inch on the side or bottom of
the 8.5x11 or A4 paper) everwhere. 


PDF is has been designed to capture final form output from most any
generator of final form. It is a complete solution handling fonts, text,
graphics and images within a single file. The presentation results are
not dependent on where they are reproduced. 


I think that you should seriously consider adding PDF to the set of
acceptable formats, either by itself or, as was done with PostScript, as
a secondary format. PDF is used by a number of standards organizations
as a way of distributing formatted documents and now has the kind of
standing that PostScript had when it was authorized by IETF.


        Steve Zilles


> From: Keith Moore <moore at cs.utk.edu>
> In a couple of weeks, IESG is having a face-to-face meeting.
> One of the things we've agreed to discuss is the possibility of
> allowing Internet-Draft submissions in HTML.
> 
> I've done a lot of carping about WGs not doing things the 
> Traditional IETF Way (tm) -- like not having all working documents
> published as plain ascii I-Ds, or not having ftp accessible
> mail archives with the messages available in pure RFC 822 format.
> 
> But since I know that various WGs have been experimenting with
> ways of keeping track of issues and documents using the web
> or other tools, I'd like to know of any techniques that you
> have found especially useful -- things we might want to encourage
> on a wider basis.
> 
> And if there are needless encumberances in our mechanisms or
> processes, we need to hear that also.  (IESG cannot change the 
> process rules but it might be able to smooth out difficulties
> with the I-D submission process, interactions with the RFC
> Editor, or the IESG itself.)


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