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Re: Requesting a revision of RFC3023

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2003 20:25:45 -0400
To: WWW-Tag <www-tag@w3.org>
Cc: ietf-xml-mime@imc.org
Message-ID: <r02000000-1026-4F221262EC9311D7B3530003937A08C2@[]>

murata@hokkaido.email.ne.jp (MURATA Makoto) writes:
>> > I'm just saying UTF-8 everywhere is even  more unrealistic than any 
>> > other options at hand.
>> Too bad, because it's the only option that's remotely practical in
>> the long term. Do you really think every programmer who wants to
>> mung text is going to include code that supports not only the
>> hundreds of extant character encodings but also the seventeen kinds
>> of in-band and out-of-band declarations of them?
>I think that persuading users is more difficult than 
>persuading programmers.  I have encouraged use of Unicode 
>for XML in Japan, but nothing has happened.

Even in the US, when I talk to users about Unicode I get blank stares.
An awful lot of people have simply been told "UTF-8 is the same as
ASCII" and write XML in 100% ASCII, using character references or entity
references for anything outside of ASCII.  Heck, they don't even specify
encoding a lot of the time, just trusting blindly in ASCII magic.

The ASCII-derived inertia in this country may favor UTF-8, but I don't
think that inertia is sufficient cause to drive the whole world toward
UTF-8.  UTF-16 I could see as plausible, as more and more tools cope
with it, but that's a real change.  

I thought XML was wise to demand support for at least two encodings
(UTF-8 and UTF-16) and leave the door open for others.  In any case, I
don't think a revision of RFC 3023 is the place to attempt to make the
whole world use UTF-8, whether or not it's a good idea.

Simon St.Laurent
Received on Sunday, 21 September 2003 20:25:53 UTC

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