Re: #227: Encoding advice for new headers and parameters

Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de> Thu, 06 October 2016 12:50 UTC

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To: =?UTF-8?Q?Martin_J._D=c3=bcrst?= <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>, Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
References: <0168B53E-A4CB-41BA-B371-7499837A327E@mnot.net> <be65e9b9-2211-314d-8f85-2db0cc87e2eb@gmx.de> <C239D61B-C0DF-4F89-A4B2-8744FFFBE470@mnot.net> <64fd17c7-f5e9-3c3b-6e6d-54660aab738e@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Cc: HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
From: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
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Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2016 14:44:10 +0200
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Subject: Re: #227: Encoding advice for new headers and parameters
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On 2016-10-04 05:28, Martin J. Dürst wrote:
> On 2016/10/04 10:59, Mark Nottingham wrote:
>
>> <chair hat> it sounds like we can close this issue with no action --
>> anyone else have thoughts?
>
> Well, this is in no way a new thought, but it is worth repeating: What
> about just using UTF-8, plain and simple.

Well, that's an orthogonal discussion. It hasn't been UTF-8 in the past, 
and APIs assume otherwise, so it's not that simple. But it's certainly 
something we can consider in the future.

FWIW, I tried to better explain this in 
<https://github.com/httpwg/http-extensions/commit/5ec7eed4fa2c941a34e868117ef2fb634d8d506e>.

(We discussed this a bit in Stockholm, and my proposal was just to 
opt-in using a BOM in the first bytes of the field value...).

> This solution was available almost 20 years ago (see RFC 2277). There
> were certain backwards-compatibility issues, the worst of which
> according to my knowledge would have been that UTF-8 would have shown up
> as double-encoded garbage when interpreted as iso-8859-1 (as defined in
> HTTP at that time).
>
> What I find extremely disappointing is that despite this group being
> composed of a lot of very intelligent people, it was impossible to move
> towards such a simple solution even at a slow pace. The good thing is
> that it's never too late. But that doesn't mean that we have to push
> this solution out another 20 or 50 years.

I agree that we need a better solution than RFC 5987.

However, the purpose of 5987bis is just to update a specification that's 
already in use.

Best regards, Julian