Re: Require guidance on Unicode in IETF formats

Stephane Bortzmeyer <bortzmeyer@nic.fr> Thu, 11 January 2007 16:10 UTC

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Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2007 17:09:52 +0100
From: Stephane Bortzmeyer <bortzmeyer@nic.fr>
To: "Clive D.W. Feather" <clive@demon.net>
Message-ID: <20070111160952.GA24904@nic.fr>
References: <20070110203056.GA614@preston.sources.org> <8C89C287-CBAF-402B-A0CE-91FE3A240ABD@osafoundation.org> <20070111151232.GH24072@finch-staff-1.thus.net>
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Subject: Re: Require guidance on Unicode in IETF formats
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On Thu, Jan 11, 2007 at 03:12:32PM +0000,
 Clive D.W. Feather <clive@demon.net> wrote 
 a message of 42 lines which said:

> should a German speaker be able to name a state or an action
> something in German? If "yes", then we need at least native UTF-8.

I technically disagree. If "yes", then we need the Unicode character
set. It can be in native UTF-8 or as an escape sequence. (See W3C's
distinction between the character model of the Web - always Unicode -
and the many encodings they can use.)

The good things about escape sequences:

* they can be sent / received with 7-bits tools,

* they can be processed with any parsing tool,

* everyone else does it, even XML.

The bad things:

* they are ugly for the writer (the casual reader may see them after a
translation to HTML or SVG or similar so it may not be ugly for him).

* they give a second-class status to non-ASCII characters, which is
bad.

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