Re: "Interoperability is getting better" ... What does that mean?

From: Asmus Freytag <>
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2012 14:25:53 -0800

On 12/30/2012 1:22 PM, Costello, Roger L. wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> I have heard it stated that, in the context of character encoding and decoding:
> Interoperability is getting better.
> Do you have data to back up the assertion that interoperability is getting better?
The number of times that I receive e-mail or open web sites in other
languages or scripts WITHOUT seeing garbled characters or "boxes" has
definitely increased for me. That would be my personal observation.

More people are sending me material in other scripts and languages.
whether on this list or via social media. "Interoperability" as measured
in those terms has clearly improved as well; again, as experienced

I still see the occasional garbled characters, most often because of a
Latin-1/Latin-15 mismatch with UTF-8. Interoperability is not perfect.
There's also no real reason to continue to create material in those
8-bit sets, especially, if the data is mislabeled as UTF-8 (or sometimes
vice versa).

In my experience, the rate of incidence for these appears to be going
down as well, but I'm personally not running an actual count. I can
imagine that there are places (and software configurations) that expose
some users to higher rates of incidence than I am experiencing.

Rather than dissecting general statements such as whether
"Interoperability is getting better" or not, it seems more productive to
address specific shortcomings of particular content providers or tools.

In the final analysis, what counts is whether users can send and receive
text with the lowest possible rate of problems - and if that requires
transition away from certain legacy practices, it would be important to
focus the energies on making sure that such transition takes place.

Received on Sun Dec 30 2012 - 16:29:27 CST

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