Re: "Difficult Characters" draft (in URLs)

Alain LaBont/e'/ (
Wed, 07 May 1997 16:04:42 -0400

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 07 May 1997 16:04:42 -0400
To: "Martin J. Duerst" <>
From: "Alain LaBont/e'/" <>
Subject: Re: "Difficult Characters" draft (in URLs)
Cc: URI mailing list <>
In-Reply-To: <Pine.SUN.3.96.970507203249.245n-100000@enoshima>

A 20:37 97-05-07 +0200, Martin J. Duerst a écrit :
>On Wed, 7 May 1997, Alain LaBont/e'/ wrote:
>> A 11:23 97-05-07 +0200, Martin J. Duerst a écrit :
>> >I think we pretty much agree that we should discourage URLs with
>> >accented uppercase letters.

[Alain] :
>> I personally do not, nor any of my colleagues... We would agree with this
>> if upper case were not allowed.

[Martin] :
>To be more precise, could you then agree to the suggestion
>that uppercase accented letters should be discouraged in
>URLs intended for a general "France-French" audience, given
>as an example of how case might affect URLs, the reason for
>this being the current widespread use of keyboards that make
>it difficult to enter such characters?
>Regards, 	Martin.

No, we could not agree on this as long as upper case will not be
discouraged for everybody. Even if upper case letters are not available on
all machines, in France, all environments which use browsers have the
possibility to copy (as you suggested for URLs) the exact characters
required from either a system-provided table or an existing URL. Short-term
considerations have made people take bad decisions in the past, that would
be a bad decision too.

And upper case accented letters are definitely required for French.

I have to be frank on this, this is a firm position. No compromise possible
from our point of view without limiting expression. People have suffered so
much with typewriters and later on with computer languages that when we
build new models we ought not be bound again by artificial restrictions
based on short-term considerations. The non-placement of <oe> and <OE> in
the final draft of ISO/IEC 8859-1 in 1987 was due to such a bad decision
taken by a very small team, based only on the fact that a French company
had no printers with these characters.

Alain LaBonté