FW: Alpha test of /rfcland1.0

Jim Whitehead (ejw@ICS.uci.edu)
Tue, 16 Feb 1999 20:36:47 -0800

Well, /rfcland1.0 is pretty neat, and shows a lot of promise (heck, just the
xml2rfc program alone makes the whole thing worthwhile), but if you're into
RFCs, you should also check out http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/ (previously
FoRKed by Rohit), which is also an amazing index of RFCs.

- Jim

-----Original Message-----
From: Carl Malamud [mailto:carl@invisible.net]
Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 1999 3:12 PM
To: ietf@ietf.org
Subject: Alpha test of /rfcland1.0

Invisible Worlds has just opened an alpha test period for our new site,
/rfcland1.0. This site presents a new interface to the RFC series for
retrieval and authoring of documents. Pointers to more information are
at the end of this note.

This database was prompted by a repeating cycle of food fights on this
mailing list having to do with proper data formats for presentations and
documents. You will find at http://memory.palace.org/ a new
Internet-Draft by Marshall Rose, Chief of Protocol at Invisible Worlds,
on the topic of "Writing I-Ds and RFCs in XML." As Marshall recently

"In the 80s, RFC 822 was the universal data exchange language.
In the 90s we took a step sideways with ASN.1, but now it looks like
XML will be the data representation language for the next millenium."

In addition to this document which describes a Document Type Definition
for RFCs, you will find on the site a program called xml2rfc, which
takes a validly tagged XML document and produces HTML and ASCII output,
where the ASCII is identical to the original format of RFCs that we all
know and love. Thanks to Steve Deering for his advance comments on the

Concurrent with the xml2rfc process, we've initiated a mirror process of
rfc2xml. Brad Burdick and I (who did the EDGAR and ITU databases, but
we'll reserve news on those two topics for a subsequent period) have
been converting the existing RFC database into XML format. This process
is long and tedious, and involved a combination of one really hairy
PERLball and some very long editing hours. Today, we have 391 documents
in full markup which are undergoing a certification process and we have
a plan that will enable us to have the entire RFC database on-line in
XML by the end of the summer.

The last piece in /rfcland1.0 is a novel user interface that uses a
back-end search engine written by Marshall, a JavaScript library written
by Danny Goodman, a bunch of scripts by Brad Burdick, and a front-end
design by Becky and Larry Pranger. While there is a LCD interface for
Lynx and 3.0 browsers, for those of you with MSIE 4.x or Netscape 4.x,
the site allows you to submit structured queries, sort the results by a
variety of parameters, drill down on individual documents, suggest added
metadata fields, provide commentary such as pointers to reference
implementations, and save the current state of a particular query for
later retrieval. Unix users be warned that we are still tracking down a
seemingly random memory leak on NN4.5.

The alpha process will last one month, after which we will run the code
and the database through a beta process. We hope to have the full site
stable shortly thereafter and certainly look forward to any feedback or
comments you may have during that time. You can send comments directly
to me and if we see sufficient demand, we'd be pleased to bring this
work onto a mailing list or to participate in any other IETF discussions
on the subject.


Carl Malamud
Invisible Worlds, Inc.

[1] The main entrance to /rfcland1.0 is at http://memory.palace.org/
[2] You may reach the mirror site at http://palace.memory.org/
[3] Marshall T. Rose's new I-D is at http://memory.palace.org/authoring/
[4] A public directory of RFCs is at http://memory.palace.org/public
[5] General information on Invisible Worlds is at http://invisible.net/