Re: Communicator Unicode

From: Alain LaBont\i ordi1dgsig (
Date: Sun Oct 12 1997 - 10:43:29 EDT

A 06:36 97-10-12 -0700, Martin J. Dürst a écrit :
>On Wed, 1 Oct 1997, Alain LaBonti SCT wrote:
[Alain] : ----------------------' !!!!!!!!! That's not me ): (; (:

>> >> 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),
>> >> disrupt current practice that works well and could easily work better
>> >> different encodings are used between the sender and the recipient.
>> >> the only coding unaffected by assuming that 8-bit data is UTF-8 would be
>> >> 7-bit ASCII. To this I am opposed.
>> [Alain] :
>> I am of course very sensitive to your argument saying that this would be
>> punitive to those who respected the standard, if it is really the case. But
>> is it? Right now recipients who follow the standard (or users who are
>> forced to respect a standard because they're stuck with a poor mailer) are
>> already punished anyway because they deprive themselves of an accurate
>> interpretation that would be easy to guess, as you yourself say that you
>> would do if you had the opportunity. So it is more than a standard, it is a
>> dogma that is really annoying everybody. Such standards should be
>> corrected, or at least guidelines be given to adapt them softly, in
>> particular because the practice to use 8-bit characters in headers is
>> spread worldwide already, just because it makes sense (but it is also done
>> by end-users who have no idea that what they are doing is a sin against
>> "good engineering design"!)

[Martin] :
>Alain - Your "spread worldwide" is somewhat biased. I have never seen
>it e.g. in Japan. And it's not the user's problem, good software
>handles that all by itself.

[Alain] :
On a forum (using French) called france_langue to which I participate, we
have correspondents in Japan, Taiwan, Iceland, USA, and so on, and all use
8-bit headers. It is a fact, not biased.

[Martin] :
>There is an old Internet principle: Be liberal in what you accept,
>be conservative in what you send. What I was proposing was to
>accept raw 8-bit headers of the sort you are describing. What
>you are describing is to make this practice a recommendation,
>so that mailer implementors start to think it is okay to send
>such stuff. There is a big difference between these two things.

[Alain] :
It is *not* *not OK* to open channels to speak users' languages by all
means, imho. It would recommend correcting something which precludes
communications in non-English by all means, whether it was voluntary or not
at the origin (it became voluntary in the recent years, using a dogma as a

>> Another approach would also be to allow tagging standard 8-bit character
>> sets totally in front of a full string, which is apparently not the case
>> today (those who use more efficient 8-bit coding are punished everyday,
>> even if they also use old ISO standards [ISO/IEC 8859 series began to be
>> adopted in 1987, at a time when even the"/IEC" was not part of the names of
>> the IT standards]!)
>> Even if today I wanted to do (I invent syntax slightly here, but it is just
>> an illustration):
>> (=?iso-8859-1?Alain LaBonté=)
>> or even:
>> (=?UTF-8?Alain LaBont$@C)(J=)
>> ...I would not even be allowed to do it! That's a sin too!

[Martin] :
>Currently, we have Q for Quoted Printable, and B for Base64.
>I can quite immaginge that at one point we will get an additional
>R for raw. With that, your examlpes, in full syntax, would look like:
> =?iso-8859-1?R?Alain LaBonté?=
> =?UTF-8?R?Alain LaBont$@C)(J?=
>Maybe I'll write an internet-draft about this when I find time :-).
>My proposal, as already stated, would be to allow the later one
>directly, as:
> Alain LaBont$@C)(J
>to get rid of the encoded-words in the long term. Such things
>will probably get introduced somewhere sooner or later, but
>my guess is that maybe News or HTTP will be sooner, and Mail
>will be later.
>Regards, Martin.

[Alain] :
C'est là où le bât blesse (;

"Later" is too far away ): (; (:

Alain LaBonté

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:37 EDT