[flac-dev] [Cellar] FLAC Markdown

Dave Rice dave at dericed.com
Mon May 22 18:06:29 UTC 2017

> On May 12, 2017, at 1:05 PM, Dave Rice <dave at dericed.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> And cc'ing flac-dev.
>> On May 10, 2017, at 12:15 PM, Dave Rice <dave at dericed.com <mailto:dave at dericed.com>> wrote:
>> Hi Andrew,
>>> On May 10, 2017, at 11:19 AM, Andrew James Weaver <weevz at uw.edu <mailto:weevz at uw.edu>> wrote:
>>> Hello all!
>>> In a previous discussions on this list about people interested in working on the FLAC standard, I said that I would be willing to start the process of converting the existing standard into Markdown. I am writing to inform the list that I have begun preliminary work on this conversion.
>>> Currently that work is living here https://github.com/privatezero/flac_markdown <https://github.com/privatezero/flac_markdown>.
>> I sent a pull request at https://github.com/privatezero/flac_markdown/pull/1 <https://github.com/privatezero/flac_markdown/pull/1>, which starts to add a process to convert the markdown to the RFC format using the same Makefile approach that we use with the FFV1 and EBML markdown files. There's still a lot of inter-document cross-referencing that needs to be adjusted before the Makefile works. For instance current cross-referencing like:
>> [*SUBFRAME\_VERBATIM*](#subframe_verbatim)
>> won't render as expected in a plain text RFC, but would simply render to something like "Section X.X.X".
>> In EBML we use markdown such as
>> See [the section on `Element Data Size`](#element-data-size) for rules that apply to elements of unknown length.
>> so that in the RFC this renders to
>> See Section 7 for rules that apply to elements of unknown length.
>> and in the markdown it renders to
>> See the section onĀ Element Data Size <https://github.com/Matroska-Org/ebml-specification/blob/master/specification.markdown#element-data-size> for rules that apply to elements of unknown length.
> I added some issues to the flac_markdown repository and Andrew addressed them in https://github.com/privatezero/flac_markdown/pull/7 <https://github.com/privatezero/flac_markdown/pull/7>. Most of these issues pertain to unintended semantic differences between the FLAC specification as it exists in its original HTML form at https://xiph.org/flac/format.html <https://xiph.org/flac/format.html> and the markdown rendition being worked on at https://github.com/privatezero/flac_markdown/blob/master/flac.md <https://github.com/privatezero/flac_markdown/blob/master/flac.md>.
> Since the recent work focuses on a change of format from HTML to markdown, I suggest that short term goals on the flac specification focus on:
> - verifying semantic equalness with the html version
> - resolving issues that block the mmark/xml2rfc process that generates the RFC formats of the specification
> - add standard RFC boilerplate (abstract, rfc2119, etc)

To summarize recent work on the FLAC specification, the document has been adjusted in its new markdown format in order to achieve semantic similarity to the original HTML rendition on the xiph.org site. In order to get the structural data (such as the tables at the end of https://xiph.org/flac/format.html) to fit in plain text RFC style, the tables were dissected a bit to separate value lists from structural lists. In this way the subcomponents and defined in their own sections instead of the prior strategy of detailing lists and pseudocode within large tables. For instance see the original rendition of the frame header documentation from https://xiph.org/flac/format.html#frame_header compared to the dissected version which gives the subcomponents their own subsequent sections at https://github.com/privatezero/flac_markdown/blob/7a5c21d49d1fda89609ffa9edfca2447c7ca3c5e/flac.md#frame_header. Splitting out the subcomponents into their own sections also gives space to be more explicate in defining them, such as https://github.com/privatezero/flac_markdown/commit/3aaa5f293102018bd7c41409e79e36f510557d96.

Andrew noticed that there are some issues with managing section titles that contain underscores and getting internal sectional citations to work. For instance (#frame-header) will link to `FRAME HEADER` (space) but not `FRAME_HEADER` (underscore). Is there any reason not to swap the all-caps, underscored component names to tilde-quoted, all caps name with spaces rather than underscores?

For convenience, here is a rendering of the plain text RFC output of git-master of the FLAC format repository: https://gist.github.com/dericed/2639d0eed5e064b4dec1399bc8716833.

I suggest reviews of the current markdown from those familiar with the historical FLAC format specification so that we ensure that the current work is the same in meaning to the original html version of the specification.

Best Regards,
Dave Rice
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