Re: 8859-1, 8859-15, 1252 and Euro

From: Erik van der Poel (
Date: Thu Feb 10 2000 - 12:00:54 EST

Frank da Cruz wrote:
> How can any kind of gateway possibly know what the intention of a
> particular octet is? Maybe it *is* a C1 control.

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252
Content-Type: text/html; charset=windows-1252

> Maybe a GIF file

Content-Type: image/gif

> Users make creative
> uses of their connections; you can't anticipate all of them, nor "parse"
> all of the data that goes across a connection.

If you don't parse the data, how can you display it?

> But the user is most likely viewing these messages through xterm

I don't know how many people still use xterm to process email and HTML
documents, but I suspect they are a minority by now.

> which is
> an ANSI X3.64 and ISO 6429 compliant terminal emulator, in which C1 codes
> are controls. You can't just "map" them to graphics.

I believe the more recent versions of xterm support UTF-8.

> The user might also be viewing the message through an actual terminal or
> terminal emulator that has a serial or Telnet or Rlogin connection to Unix.
> The worldwide email system must not assume that we are all using a
> Windows-based Web browser to read our email.

Resistance is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.

> > The Unix apps are still somewhat behind perhaps...
> Let us say instead that they are in conformance with standards. Standards
> that we all agreed to; standards that are still in effect; standards that
> have not been replaced by any new standard which condones the use of the C1
> positions for graphic characters in data interchange applications, with the
> singular exception of MIME, which is not a standard at all, but rather the
> lack of one: blanket permission for anybody to do whatever they want --
> not the best way to design a worldwide system of communication.

MIME is not the only standard that is replacing the old protocols. HTTP
is another one. (Or do you consider HTTP to be MIME because it uses
similar headers?)

> Please don't encourage the use of PC code pages on the Internet.

It's too late. If we don't support PC code pages, users won't use our
new software.


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