Re: ISO/IEC 10646 as Document Character Set

Erik van der Poel writes:
 > >>But there's the installed base and the interoperability currently being
 > >>enjoyed (yes, even in Japan).
 > >
 > >Most companies here don't even know what the Internet is, let alone
 > >the WWW (they know the *names*, but that's it).
 > So you're saying that it's OK to destroy the interoperability being
 > enjoyed by the companies that *do* know what the Internet and WWW are?
 > Have you asked them how they feel about this?

Have they asked us how we feel about creating interoperability
nightmares like this?

Seriously: the web specs have always been open. I didn't see much in
the way of proposals before they deployed their mechanisms. I saw the
Mosaic-L10N paper, and I referred them to the MIME specs and the
charset stuff. A long time ago. No response, apparently. (Note:
RFC1341 dates back to 1990).

If they currently enjoy interoperability via ad-hoc techniques, it's
by luck. Any vendor that promised interoperability based on these
techniques is unscrupulous. There's nothing to stop a vendor from
supporting these techniques. But customers should know that they are
depending on a particular vendor (or an experiment, in the case of
Mosaic L10N) when they use them.

If folks want to ensure interoperability, they should represent their
needs in the open standards forums like this one.

We have to weigh the cost of "destroying interoperability" now, since
there is a certain amount of deployment. But those concerns must be
secondary to reliable operation of conforming systems, if we ever hope
to get out of "bugward compatibility" mode and into reasonable amounts
of innovation.


Received on Wednesday, 3 May 1995 19:10:50 UTC