A proposed solution for descriptions (was: Re: ISO 639 - New item approved - N'Ko)

Mark Crispin mrc at CAC.Washington.EDU
Sun Jun 11 22:17:42 CEST 2006

On Sun, 11 Jun 2006, John Cowan wrote:
> To say something is wrong without more is to suggest that some alternative
> course of action is right.  But here we have only wrong courses of action.
> The advantage of the escape sequences is that they preserve information.

I've been in the world of RFCs for 30 years.  I should have acquired some 
understanding of "the right course of action" in that time.  For RFCs, the 
right course of action is to ASCIIify without trying to sneak around it by 
using SGML or similar subterfuge.

Let me put it this way: the reason for the restriction is to *prevent* 
people from doing that.

If it is necessary to "preserve information" by using non-ASCII 
codepoints, there can be a second form using U+xxxx.  For example:

  The German word for "girl" is "das Maedchen" (das M<U+00E4>dchen).

I understand why some people may not like doing this.  But, for the most 
part, complaining about it is effectively beating one's head against the 
wall.  Most of us would rather move forward than have a sore head.

-- Mark --

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.

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