Re: RE: A basic question on encoding Latin characters

From: Robert Brady (
Date: Tue Sep 28 1999 - 20:31:19 EDT

On Tue, 28 Sep 1999, Rick McGowan wrote:

> The only "adequate solution" in this case is time. In the face of
> requirements for new languages to be expressed, "ASCII-think" protocols will
> become increasingly inadequate, and eventually disappear. In the past,
> likewise, one might have lamented any number of technologies that, for one
> reason or another, didn't scale well or didn't perform well enough in the
> face of new challenges. So they are superseded by different technologies.
> For interactive terminal protocols, one obvious solution is to design with an
> unambiguous command/response termination, like line-feed. In other words,
> don't design protocols like "login: " and expect them to scale appropriately.
> This is precisely the same problem that people with walkie-talkies used to
> fix by using phrases like "over" and "over-and-out".

Saying "abandon terminals" is not really an adequate solution either, and
certainly not to UNIX users. Using decomposed characters in the input
stream breaks things that were possible before. Sure, our metaphor
couldn't cope with distinguishing "ch" from "c", but one thing it could do
was distinguish "a-with-ring-above" with "a". We can't do that with things
normalised to postfix combining characters.


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