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Label header i18n, and RFC 2277

From: Jim Whitehead <ejw@cse.ucsc.edu>
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2001 09:24:19 -0700
To: <Edgar@EdgarSchwarz.de>, <ietf-dav-versioning@w3.org>

> Also the drawing direction of the characters is implicitly encoded
> in the characters themselves, isn't it ?

From what I understand, not necessarily.

> So I think that a label as a simple string of UNICODE characters would be
> good enough and simple to implement too.
> Not aesthetically perfect, but a working solution if you want to
> draw people
> from RCS, CVS, Clearcase to name a few, which heavily rely on labels.
> So I would keep the label header as a simple UNICODE string.

I am not opposed to labels. I just believe labels should be tagged with an
identifier of the language of the label text.

This is my best understanding of the intent of the IETF Policy on Character
Sets and Languages (described in RFC 2277, which is also IETF Best Common
Practice (BCP) 18).  Section 4.2 of RFC 2277 is very explicit:

4.2.  Requirement for language tagging

   Protocols that transfer text MUST provide for carrying information
   about the language of that text.

   Protocols SHOULD also provide for carrying information about the
   language of names, where appropriate.

   Note that this does NOT mean that such information must always be
   present; the requirement is that if the sender of information wishes
   to send information about the language of a text, the protocol
   provides a well-defined way to carry this information.

To resolve this issue, DeltaV needs to either:

(a) Develop a plausible explanation for why label information is not human
readable text.

(b) Explain why label text, unlike all other human readable text, does not
require language tagging.

(c) Add a language tag to the label.

In my opinion, choices (a) and (b) are high-risk, since they have a higher
probability of causing the DeltaV draft to be sent back to the working group
to resolve the i18n issues associated with labels.  Choice (c) is low-risk,
since it meets the letter and spirit of RFC 2277.

Let me also note that the author of RFC 2277, Harald Alvestrand, is now the
Chair of the IETF, which I interpret as indicating that the IETF's
commitment to internationalization continues to be quite strong.

- Jim
Received on Monday, 16 April 2001 12:25:53 UTC

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