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A few people have been messing about with XML-ising RFCs.
There used to be a company (which I can no longer find; XML and RFC gets far
too many matches in Google) who were paying students to mark up RFCs into
their XML structure.
There have been a few efforts to do basic markup of RFCs in XML, but too many
of them still just rely on large <pre> - style sections for the diagrams and
What would be ideal is to have something like DocBook for RFCs, that can be
rendered into the standard plain text style with a combination of XSLT and
other software, but can also be put into HTML and other formats.
And the real killer app would be if the ABNF and packet diagrams had a formal
notation in the XML, making it possible for protocol analyser tools like
Ethereal and tcpdump to take RFCs as input and automatically generate parsers
for IETF protocols!
Particularly useful in the Assigned Numbers RFCs.
There are three prongs to this work:
1) Making a decent DTD that handles all the different types of tables and
diagrams found in RFCs, or at least the important ones; diagrams that are
purely for illustration would have less priority than diagrams that could be
used to automatically drive conformance test systems and derive skeleton
2) Marking up existing RFCs (time consuming, but individually trivial)
3) Getting the IETF interested in publishing new RFCs in this format for the
greater good of humanity
A city is like a large, complex, rabbit