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Re: Comments on charmod from Chris

From: Keith Moore <moore@cs.utk.edu>
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 00:35:03 -0400
Message-Id: <200205280435.g4S4Z3M21539@astro.cs.utk.edu>
To: Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>
cc: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>, www-tag@w3.org
> While indeed currently http is defined to use %hh escaping,
> why would there be a need to restrict over the wire to ASCII,
> in particular for future protocols? TCP/IP doesn't have any
> problems with 8-bit data.

TCP doesn't have any problems with arbitrary binary data
either, but for some reason people often prefer to use text.
The popularity of XML illustrates that rather well.

For similar reasons, people often prefer to restrict the
set of characters that are used for certain purposes.  For instance, 
it's useful if resource identifiers are transmitted in a form 
that can be displayed on any terminal, transcribed on most 
keyboards, and printed on any printer.

In other words, it's not TCP that's the problem - it's the 
inability of most human beings and their keyboards to cope 
with the tremendous diversity of characters that are in use.
TCP is data transparent, but human eyes, minds, voices,
and fingers aren't.

Received on Tuesday, 28 May 2002 00:35:07 UTC

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