Re: Comments on <draft-ietf-acap-mlsf-00.txt>?

From: Rick McGowan (
Date: Tue Jun 03 1997 - 18:07:07 EDT

Hi Chris... Thanks for all the answers. They certainly help my understanding.

> The primary purpose is to carry human readable strings in Internet
> protocols.

I managed to figure this out, but thanks!

> in order to be approved as an IETF standards track protocol, new protocols
> need to support Internationalization (I18N) and consider
> Multilingualization (M17N).

This is good. It would have been nice to see your proposal before it reached
the stage of being an RFC, but I guess we can't all follow every development
in every field.

> Unicode does not solve the multilingual problem for CJK or blind people.

Oh, sigh... To that, I have to say, "you've been listening to the wrong
propaganda engines". There isn't really much of a multi-lingual problem with
CJK text, but I don't have the bandwidth to go into that here. (If anyone
else has the energy or time, they can chime in now...)

OK, you need language tagging of Unicode text.

> Rather than breaking the nice substring searching characteristics of UTF-8

AHA!!! Now you're onto something interesting. Why? What's the requirement
you're trying to fulfill? What's the bang-for-buck?

> I'm actively involved in designing the ACAP protocol

Don't know it. Is there an RFC? A brief explanation might do.

> Can you suggest how I might fix any specific problems you've identified?

Hm. I think the proposed format is, no personal affront intended, a hideous
abomination that will only harm the situation and the acceptance of Unicode,
and I think you should withdraw the RFC and do something different. For
instance, you could invent a simple, higher level protocol on top of Unicode,
and express it in plain text. Then you should encode THAT in UTF-8 and pass
it around on the net as UTF-8-encoded-whatever. You should *NOT!* use any
so-called "unused" bits in the published, widely-accepted UTF-8 standard.
While that might be clever (and M. Crispin is a clever man) not all cleverness
is desirable or appreciated in all contexts.

> A longer discussion of the topic is in RFC 2130 -- a document which carries
> lot of respect in the IETF community.

See Page 28. It's really gratifying to know this document has some actual

Keep on talking,


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