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

From: Leif Halvard Silli <>
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 00:19:12 +0100

Jukka K. Korpela, Mon, 31 Dec 2012 00:41:41 +0200:
> 2012-12-30 23:22, Costello, Roger L. wrote:
>> I have heard it stated that, in the context of character encoding
>> and decoding:
>> Interoperability is getting better.
 [ … ]
> This seems to revolve around just the encoding of web pages,
> specifically the problem that sometimes the encoding has not been
> properly declared.
> I haven’t seen any data on the relative frequency of such problems,
> and I don’t know what such data would be useful for.
> But in my experience, such problems have been become more common,
> mainly because people using different encodings. One reason is that
> people think UTF-8 is favored but don’t quite know how to use it,
> e.g. declaring UTF-8 but using an authoring tool that does no
> actually produce UTF-8 encoded data.

My "feeling" is that interoperability is getting better everywhere. But
one field which lags behind is e-mail. Especially Web archives of
e-mail (for instance, take the’s web archive). And also some
e-mail programs fail to default to UTF-8.

Inter op is getting better because

 1. "we" move towards one encoding (UTF-8)
 2. an aspect of 1. is that we put more
    restrictions on ourselves - we respect the
    conventions. E.g. HTML5 "blesses" Win-1252
    as the real default.
3. "we" understand the problem(s) better. (E.g.
   I used to think that it was good if a tool
   supported multiple encodings - and in a way
   it is good, but … it is much more important
   that the tool defaults to UTF-8.)

There probably most productive is to file bugs against each an every
tool that doesn’t default to UTF-8.

leif halvard silli
Received on Sun Dec 30 2012 - 17:21:06 CST

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