Requirements for Plain-Text RFCs
RFC 7994

Document Type RFC - Informational (December 2016; No errata)
Last updated 2016-12-16
Replaces draft-flanagan-plaintext
Stream IAB
Formats plain text pdf html bibtex
Stream IAB state Published RFC
Consensus Boilerplate Yes
RFC Editor Note (None)
Internet Architecture Board (IAB)                            H. Flanagan
Request for Comments: 7994                                    RFC Editor
Category: Informational                                    December 2016
ISSN: 2070-1721

                    Requirements for Plain-Text RFCs

Abstract

   In 2013, after a great deal of community discussion, the decision was
   made to shift from the plain-text, ASCII-only canonical format for
   RFCs to XML as the canonical format with more human-readable formats
   rendered from that XML.  The high-level requirements that informed
   this change were defined in RFC 6949, "RFC Series Format Requirements
   and Future Development".  Plain text remains an important format for
   many in the IETF community, and it will be one of the publication
   formats rendered from the XML.  This document outlines the rendering
   requirements for the plain-text RFC publication format.  These
   requirements do not apply to plain-text RFCs published before the
   format transition.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)
   and represents information that the IAB has deemed valuable to
   provide for permanent record.  It represents the consensus of the
   Internet Architecture Board (IAB).  Documents approved for
   publication by the IAB are not a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 7841.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7994.

Flanagan                      Informational                     [Page 1]
RFC 7994                     Plain-Text RFCs               December 2016

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2016 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   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.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
   2. Character Encoding ..............................................4
   3. Figures and Artwork .............................................4
   4. General Page Format Layout ......................................4
      4.1. Headers and Footers ........................................5
      4.2. Table of Contents ..........................................5
      4.3. Line Width .................................................5
      4.4. Line Spacing ...............................................5
      4.5. Hyphenation ................................................5
   5. Elements from the xml2rfc v3 Vocabulary .........................5
   6. Security Considerations .........................................6
   7. References ......................................................6
      7.1. Normative References .......................................6
      7.2. Informative References .....................................7
   IAB Members at the Time of Approval ................................8
   Acknowledgements ...................................................8
   Author's Address ...................................................8

1.  Introduction

   In 2013, after a great deal of community discussion, the decision was
   made to shift from the plain-text, ASCII-only canonical format for
   RFCs to XML as the canonical format [XML-ANNOUNCE].  The high-level
   requirements that informed this change were defined in [RFC6949],
   "RFC Series Format Requirements and Future Development".  Plain text
   remains an important format for many in the IETF community, and it
   will be one of the publication formats rendered from the XML.  This
   document outlines the rendering requirements for the plain-text RFC
   publication format.  These requirements do not apply to plain-text
   RFCs published before the format transition.

   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.

Flanagan                      Informational                     [Page 2]
RFC 7994                     Plain-Text RFCs               December 2016

   Plain-text interchange is commonly used between computer systems that
   do not share higher-level protocols." [UNICODE-GLOSSARY].  In other
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