Re: Communicator Unicode

From: Alain LaBont\i SCT (
Date: Thu Sep 25 1997 - 16:46:41 EDT

A 02:46 97-09-25 -0700, Kent Karlsson a écrit :
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
>X-MIME-Autoconverted: from 8bit to quoted-printable by
id CAA13448
>Alain LaBonté - SCT wrote:
>> 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.

[Kent] :
>Being the one starting this sub(!)thread, I sense the temperature
>rising. And I don't know if I can bring it down, especially since
>I agree with what Alain says in the two paragraphs quoted above.
>However, I would like a simple and universal solution that is also
>sane from an engineering point of view.
>Martin J. Dürst wrote:
>> But maybe time is ripe
>> for at least a proposal to remove this restriction. News headers
>> are also moving in this direction. Ideally, and in accordance
>> with the newly formulated IETF charset policy, one shouldn't
>> go to use =?charset?R?XXXXXXXX?= (where "R" would stand for
>> raw), but should declare that (within "cooperating subnets"),
>> UTF-8 is directly used. Using anything else in headers without
>> being labeled (as it is unfortunately done is some areas) greatly
>> affects generality, interoperability and future extensibility.
>*Without* charset/transf.enc. tags (?...?.?), headings are to be coded
>using UTF-8 with 8bit transfer encoding.

[Alain] :
Again, what I propose is to overload an external tag already used for the

Declaring that all of a sudden current 8-bit coding, untagged, is UTF-8
(for which support I am all in favour, of course, if it is tagged), would
disrupt current practice that works well and could easily work better when
different encodings are used between the sender and the recipient. Again,
the only coding unaffected by assuming that 8-bit data is UTF-8 would be
7-bit ASCII. To this I am opposed.

To get is straight:

1. I am strongly in favour of tags, although they shall be external to
   text (MIME is that way, except when it is imbedded in text like as
   per RFC 1522).

2. I would like untagged header data to be aligned with the most
   likely coding, given by the first text character set tag
   encountered in a message.

That would work in harmony with current practice, and be a way to move on.

That said without heat, we are able to have civilized discussions.

Alain LaBonté

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