Re: Communicator Unicode

From: Alain LaBont\i - SCT (
Date: Wed Sep 24 1997 - 19:40:22 EDT

A 11:57 97-09-24 -0700, John Gardiner Myers a écrit :
>Alain LaBonti - SCT wrote:
>> It seems to me that, even if it might appear heretic, one should assume, in
>> absence of tags for headers, that the character set used is the same as the
>> message body's.
>Your use of the word "the" indicates that you're assuming there is
>exactly one charset tag in the body to choose from. Such is not the
>The body might be a multipart/mixed or some other type which does not
>have a charset. In the case of multipart/mixed, one might start parsing
>the multipart/mixed in search of a charset tag on some part at a lower
>level, but there might be more than one such tag and the tags might be
>Seems to me you're proposing violating an abstraction layer or two in
>order to fish for information which in the general case cannot be
>deterministically found. This is not good engineering.
>> With GUI presentation of messages it would not be a major problem, as
>> anyway the message is never displayed before full reception. For non GUIs,
>> it would be just too bad, but certainly not worse than today. Right now,
>> because of a dogma, it is wrong in all environments that do not cheat.
>Right now, it is right in environments which use MIME encoded-words.

Your thinking is the one of an engineer who thinks about nice gears but not
about what they do (: (I do not want to upset you though, I say this

While in an ideal bugless world, you're perfectly right, encoding à la RFC
1522 is a nightmare for users, a way paved with myriads of ubiquitous and
unsolvable coding and decoding bugs.

And perpetuating the dogma that without tags, the non-English user should
go to hell (the impression that hopeless users get), nobody will be able to
convince him/her that good engineering which leads to garbage out is nice
for their mental and physical health.

What I say is that there are ways to better the life of users in doing
something simple like assuming that the character set used for plain text
(most messages have at least such a part), of for the first part of plain
text, if you wish, is the same one used for the headers... If that would be
a clear convention, taht would be much more useful that the current
-tags dogma.

In this way, on a Mac (I'm a Windows user, but I communicate with Mac
users!), the titles could be decoded back and forth...

Simple enough?

Alain LaBonté

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