Rendering with font application on code: reversibility possible

From: Alain LaBont\i - 2 (
Date: Mon Oct 20 1997 - 16:43:48 EDT

A 09:24 21/10/97 -0700, Larry Masinter a écrit :
>Donald Page wrote:
>> Rubbish, any browser which either uses the font of the terminal it is
>> running under (e.g. lynx) or which the user can define which font to use
>> for display is Latin-0-capable. I reckon that is pretty much every
>> browser.

[Larry] :
>Using ©®±¶Ë, where the user must set the ©®±¶ in order to understand
>the message, is unreliable.
>(To properly read this message, please set your mail browser to use a ©®±¶
> in which
> © is an alternate rendering of 'f'
> ® is an alternate rendering of 'o'
> ± is an alternate rendering of 'n'
> ¶ is an alternate rendering of 't'
> Ë is an alternate rendering of 's'.)

[Alain] :
Of course one could also transform all this simply even for ASCII!... A
function in Eudora Pro does that so that Larry's full text is presented
this way (no kidding):
>Qbanyq Cntr jebgr:
>> Ehoovfu, nal oebjfre juvpu rvgure hfrf gur sbag bs gur grezvany vg vf
>> ehaavat haqre (r.t. ylak) be juvpu gur hfre pna qrsvar juvpu sbag gb hfr
>> sbe qvfcynl vf Yngva-0-pncnoyr. V erpxba gung vf cerggl zhpu rirel
>> oebjfre.
>Hfvat ©®±¶Ë, jurer gur hfre zhfg frg gur ©®±¶ va beqre gb haqrefgnaq
>gur zrffntr, vf haeryvnoyr.
>(Gb cebcreyl ernq guvf zrffntr, cyrnfr frg lbhe znvy oebjfre gb hfr n ©®±¶
> va juvpu
> © vf na nygreangr eraqrevat bs 's'
> ® vf na nygreangr eraqrevat bs 'b'
> ± vf na nygreangr eraqrevat bs 'a'
> ¶ vf na nygreangr eraqrevat bs 'g'
> Ë vf na nygreangr eraqrevat bs 'f'.)

I did that just with a few clicks of my mouse (;

Perhaps most people know this primitive presentation form.

It is very reliable and reversible! Reliablility just requires a one-to-one
mapping respecting round-trip-integrity. Easy to achieve, but unfortunately
not with 7-bit stripping which is irreversible, unlike a font change like
the theoretical one that Larry is using for the simple purpose of joking.

A font change applied on a code is always reversible, isn't it? So it is
more reliable than the habit of sticking to 7-bit stripping or of character
filtering, a practice that should be outdated as archaic for information
interchange purposes.

When I receive data from my friend in Paris, Jean-Pierre Cabanié (who works
for Laboratoire d'électronique et de physique Philips), who uses OS/2 and
IBM 850, I find useful to change fonts to read it in case of ambiguity (it
is very straightforward and I bless WinEudora for not filtering his
accented characters out, in this case). I do not say that this is a
universal solution, but it has been a practical one so far, with
font-switching technology, prior to cross-application UNICODE facilities
which are still not there except perhaps for WinNT.

This technique is still useful. You can always guess on this empirically,
unless it is done with encrypting just for malicious purposes (; , and
corrections are mathematically possible and highly accurate.

However ugly this method is, it is not true to say that it is not reliable
when you know what to do with the data.

With True Type fonts (and similar technology) you can also make your own
font for any 8-bit code. Even the UNICODE consortium requested that we do
that to show up characters to be standardized in the UCS... that was done
with 8-bit technology... at the request of the UNICODE consortium itself, I

That said, I am still a preacher of UNICODE. But one should not spit on
what feeds him/her.

Alain LaBonté
Cornwall (Ontario)
until Friday

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