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Re: CfC: Adopt ISSUE-101 us-ascii-ref Change Proposal to replace ASCII reference

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2010 21:12:09 +0400
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Message-ID: <20100707211209150515.c36c8f73@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Maciej Stachowiak, Wed, 23 Jun 2010 21:56:31 -0700:

> Perhaps someone should write a Change Proposal that requests a 
> reference to the ECMA PDF. [...]

In light of the upcoming vote (see Paul Cotton's HTML WG telcon 
Agenda), I hereby issue an update to my Change Proposal for ISSUE-101.

Previous version:

Differences: Instead of replacing RFC1345, it is suggested to add a 
ASCII reference in the debated section, and to use ECMA-6 as this 
references. With regard to RFC1345, then it is suggested that it can 
remain, provided that it is made clearer that it is used as an ASCII 
alias name references - in tune with RFC1345’s self-description.

	UPDATED version hereby submitted:

  Add a reference to the ECMA-6 homepage as ASCII specification
  reference [2]. This in order to satisfy the request for a freely
  available online reference to ASCII inside the debated section
  of HTML5. Additionally, if the editor needs a reference to the 
  meaning of 'ANSI_X3.4-1968' and/or 'US-ASCII', then RFC1345 [1] 
  may continue to serve that purpose, provided that it becomes
  sufficiently clearer that this is the purpose it serves. (ECMA-6
  does not explain the meaning of those alias names.)
    There should be an ASCII reference in the debated section of 
  HTML5. This reference should lead to a freely available, online
  specification of ASCII. The ECMA-6 homepage meets these demands.
    The ECMA-6 homepage [2] offers free download of the latest
  edition — "also approved as ISO/IEC 646" – in PDF format [3].
  A link to this page would be similar to how HTML5’s UNICODE
  reference links to the UNICODE versions’ homepage at
    The December 1991 6th edition is the current ECMA-6 standard,
  and the PDF is an "in electronic form" reprint from August 1997.
    In contrast, HTML5's reference to ASCII for the moment, is the
  103 pages long plain text version of RFC1345 [1], which only at
  page 47 has 18 lines about US-ASCII, including an ASCII table, a
  list of alias names plus a list (without links) of equivalent,
  but 'pay walled'/off-line, ASCII specs, therein ANSI_X3.4-1968,
  ANSI_X3.4-1986 and ISO_646.irv:1991.
    RFC1345 is a fine alias & encoding reference, and as such,
  useful enough. But as it stands, easy to confuse with an ASCII
  reference. And readers looking for an ASCII reference will have
  problems seeing in what way RFC1345 is relevant, and in what way
  it (including the other 102 pages) is not relevant.
    Since RFC1345 does not point to any free ASCII spec, it
  effectively becomes an advertisement for 'pay-walled' ASCII
  specs, despite claims to the effect that RFC1345 has the
  advantage of being free and online.
    For the record: RFC1345 presents the (international) refe-
  rence version (iso-ir-6) of ECMA-6 (documented inside the PDF)
  as alias for ANSI_X3.4-1968. It also lists the international
  reference version (irv) of ISO 646 as alias (ISO_646.irv:1991). 
  In ECMA-6's own wording: "6th Edition corresponds to the 3rd 
  edition of ISO 646 issued in 1991".
  1. Add an ASCII reference and let it point to [1].
  2. As needed, make the necessary spec text changes to make 
     clear that ECMA-6 edition 6 (and the equivalent ISO 646/1991)
     are in fact the current specification(s) of 
     ANSI_X3.4-1968 & US-ASCII.
  3. Eventually, keep [2] as well, provided it becomes enough
     clear that is is used as reference to the many names of 
  (It might become possible to combine 2. and 3. It might also be
   that 1. and 2. solves 3 – e.g. if a clear reference to ECMA as
   ASCII specification is added, then - depending on the text - 
   it may become clear that RFC1345 is used as alias reference.)
  Positive Effects
    * the ECMA-6 homepage gives free access ECMA-6 edition 6, 
      without any 'pay-wall' or outdatedness. ECMA-6 is:
      - an independent, self contained and online ASCII spec.
      - also free for the Internet impaired: "This Standard ECMA-6
        is available free of charge in printed form and as a file"
    * the ECMA-6 homepage explains briefly what it is and how it
      is relevant, presenting ECMA-6 as parallel to ISO/IEC 646.
      - readers are freed from having to make sense of the – in
        large parts – irrelevant RFC1345.
    * a homepage link instead of big file link has advantages:
      - fast access
      - forward looking, in case of standard updates
    * RFC1345 can play the role as alias reference, which is more
      in tune with its intended purpose.
  Negative Effects
    * none
leif halvard silli
Received on Wednesday, 7 July 2010 17:13:08 UTC

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