Language tags in IPP (was: Re: [Suppress-Script] Initial list
of 300 languages)
mrc at CAC.Washington.EDU
Mon Mar 13 21:01:14 CET 2006
On Mon, 13 Mar 2006, Ned Freed wrote:
> Let me talk about email. Email isn't an end to
> end protocol and hence has no ability to negotiate anything on the fly. There
> are many cases where preferred language information is available but charset
> information is not. Finally, "just use UTF-8" is an absolute and complete
> nonstarter for a huge number of people, our wishes to the contrary
> notwithstanding. (This is gradually changing, but Unicode ubiquity is still a
> very long way away.)
Hi Ned, I think that email has progressed somewhat further than you think.
Pine is about as traditional an MUA as you can get. It is not (yet)
capable of sending/displaying messages in UTF-8 (we're working on that for
the next version as I speak), but for a few versions now it has been
capable of receiving messages in UTF-8 and translating them to the user's
Put another way: Pine currently requires me to set my charset to
ISO-2022-JP in order to read/compose Japanese language messages.
However, if someone sends me a Japanese language message in UTF-8, Pine
will convert it to its internal representation (EUC-JP on UNIX, Shift-JIS
on Windows). Similarly, if someone sends me a Chinese language message in
UTF-8, large parts will be readable -- depending upon how many codepoints
are in common with JIS.
The same holds true for the other charsets Pine knows about, which are
most (if not all) the charsets commonly used in email today.
Nevertheless, this was recognized as an interim step. It was basically
intended to make Pine not be in the way of someone else using UTF-8, even
if Pine is still forced to use legacy charsets.
What's more, the next version will be UTF-8 capable.
-- 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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