Re: New Non-WG Mailing List: IETF-822

John C Klensin <> Fri, 15 June 2012 21:21 UTC

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Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 17:20:57 -0400
From: John C Klensin <>
To: John Levine <>,
Subject: Re: New Non-WG Mailing List: IETF-822
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--On Friday, June 15, 2012 19:58 +0000 John Levine
<> wrote:

>> Maybe, in the interest of interplanetaryization (i19n ?) and
>> multigalacticism (m13m ?) we should start using FoPSCII and
>> Galicode references in our documents and noting that ASCII and
>> Unicode are temporary substitutes.
> It hardly seems worth the effort, since the only difference
> between ASCII and FoPSCII is that the ASCII # is replaced by
> the modern currency symbol, and, of course, they put the
> little gap back in the vertical bar to resolve the concerns
> about religious and cultural insensitivty.

Huh?   ISO/IEC 646 IRV (another candidate for a FoPSCII
precursor) replaces the ASCII $, not #, with that universal
currency symbol.  As for that vertical bar, sufficiently elderly
practitioners of the art of Character Confusion and Coding (CCS)
will recall that the ancient Earthling-Based Convention for
Difficult Information Coding included two peculiar characters: a
mathematical "not" sign that closely resembled Unicode's "⌐"
(U+2310) and that broken vertical bar.  Those characters spawned
multiple wars over how they should be mapped into "ASCII" and
"ISO/IEC 646" with one group arguing for caret and (solid)
vertical bar, another for tilde and exclamation mark, and a
third for exclamation mark and [solid] vertical bar.  After much
bloodshed, 16 and 32 bit character sets were invented so that
almost everyone could contemplate their cakes while eating them
and continued dissenters were tortured until they repented.

Those battles were repeated in the development of FoPSCII when
it was noticed that the 5th character of the Klingon alphabet
was confusable with both the not-sign, Greek upper case Gamma,
and  Latin "r".  In addition, the Klingon numeral 8 was easily
confused with Cyrillic "Ж".  This created a variant problem
that the Intergalactic Consortium for Arbitrary Names and
Numbers could not dismiss because of some of the advocates had a
more effective means of persuasion than merely hiring lawyers.