On 18 Aug 97 at 3:31, Martin J. Dürst wrote:
> Yes. But what can also be seen is that in almost every country/
> region/whatever, or for the world as a whole, the maturity of
> that place's information industry can be mesured in terms of
> the number of different character encodings used. For the plain
> ASCII repertoire, there were quite a few encodings before ASCII
> came. A single one is remaining in some niches, namely EBCDIC,
> but EBCDIC systems are carefully organized so that EBCDIC
> doesn't leach to the outside word.
> And the bigger the place, the longer it takes. In contrast to
> "which side of the road do you drive by", the benefits of
> convergence in the long run greatly outwight the costs of
> it, and the more communication gets internationalized, the
> more this becomes true. If we had cars running from one
> country to another at the same speed as data packets get
> from one computer to another, the side of the road they
> drive on would have been unified long ago.
I think you underestimate both the number of EBCDIC systems extant,
and the number of cars driving on the left. Neither is by any
stretch of the imagination a niche, and neither is going to go away
in the forseeable future.
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