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Re: how should RFC 2119 text be rendered?

From: Alex Rousskov <rousskov@measurement-factory.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2003 14:57:13 -0600 (MDT)
To: pat hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
cc: www-qa@w3.org, lesch@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.BSF.4.53.0306121441220.29219@measurement-factory.com>

On Thu, 12 Jun 2003, pat hayes wrote:

> I have a style question regarding how best to render RFC2119 meanings
> in HTML documents.
>
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/WD-qaframe-spec-20030210/ section 1.6 says:
>
> "The keywords "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
> "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY ", and "OPTIONAL" will be
> used as defined in RFC 2119 [RFC2119] . When used with the normative
> RFC2119 meanings, they will be all uppercase. Occurrences of these
> words in lowercase comprise normal prose usage, with no normative
> implications. "
>
> I would normally understand this to mean that these keywords should
> appear in a document in visible uppercase. However, section 9.7 of
> http://www.w3.org/Guide/pubrules  says:
>
> "When these key words are used in the RFC sense, make them UPPERCASE,
> enclose them in the em element, and style them with CSS to make the
> UPPERCASE readable.
> <em title="MUST in RFC 2119 context"
>         class="RFC2119">MUST</em>
>
> .RFC2119 {
>    text-transform: lowercase;
>    font-style: italic;
> }  "
>
> and the recommended styling removes the uppercase from the view of
> the document as seen in most browsers, so it is impossible for a
> reader to see whether the word is being used normatively or normally
> (with emphasis).
>
> So, which is it? MAY what the reader sees on their screen look like
> lowercase italic, or MUST it look like uppercase Roman?

Hmm... The "lowercase" text-transform looks like a typo unless the
authors consider true uppercase not "readable". Personally, I much
prefer "MUST" to "must" because many documents use lower case words as
just words, not RFC2119 keywords.

Alex.

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Received on Thursday, 12 June 2003 16:57:17 GMT

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