C.3 RFC Format

To correspond with the model of RFCs as books, RFCs are mostly paginated documents. For historical reasons, they are usually in ASCII and appear in a fixed-width font. Pages have a line of header and a line of footer. A form feed (x0C) character separates pages, and figures are drawn by "ASCII art." RFCs can also be in Postscript (.ps) or PDF (.pdf); for standards-track RFCs, an authoritative ASCII (.txt) version must exist.


This ASCII format is fairly archaic but it has stood the test of time in being readable, authorable, and searchable on almost any platform for several decades and appears likely to continue to work as well for the foreseeable future. Numerous proposals for other formats have been made over the years, as fads have come and gone, including Postscript, PDF, HTML, and XML. These options have all been plagued by various problems, including at least some of the following: lack of searchability, font incompatibilities, proprietary software requirements, and the problem that the suggested "best" format keeps changing. For these reasons, plain text ASCII will likely remain the format of choice for the IETF.

Secure XML(c) The New Syntax for Signatures and Encryption
Secure XML: The New Syntax for Signatures and Encryption
ISBN: 0201756056
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 186

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