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SubjectRe: OT: character encodings (was: Linux 2.6.20-rc4)
On Mon, Jan 08, 2007 at 02:14:41AM +0100, Willy Tarreau wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 08, 2007 at 02:03:37AM +0100, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> > On Mon, Jan 08, 2007 at 01:38:57AM +0100, Willy Tarreau wrote:
> > > On Mon, Jan 08, 2007 at 12:37:50AM +0100, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> > > > On Sun, Jan 07, 2007 at 09:48:34PM +0100, Willy Tarreau wrote:
> > > > > On Sun, Jan 07, 2007 at 08:11:38PM +0100, Jan Engelhardt wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > On Jan 7 2007 17:06, Russell King wrote:
> > > > > > >On Mon, Jan 08, 2007 at 12:29:05AM +0800, David Woodhouse wrote:
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > >$ git log | head -n 1000 | tail -n 200 > o
> > > > > > >$ file -i o
> > > > > > >o: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> > > > > > >$ git log | head -n 1000 | tail -n 300 > o
> > > > > > >$ file -i o
> > > > > > >o: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> > > > > > >$ git log | head -n 1000 | tail -n 400 > o
> > > > > > >$ file -i o
> > > > > > >o: text/plain; charset=utf-8
> > > > > >
> > > > > > I am inclined to say that "file" does not count, because it tries to guess an
> > > > > > ambiguous mapping from bytes to character set. Even more, file should be
> > > > > > _unable at all_ to distinguish an iso-8859-1 from an iso-8859-2 (or worse: 15)
> > > > > > file. This program is soo... forget it, it's not an argument. It works well for
> > > > > > headerful files, but text files don't really contain one. The next best thing
> > > > > > would be html, with a proper <meta http-equiv=Content> tag.
> > > > >
> > > > > The stupidity from the start up with those character sets is that they
> > > > > consider that a whole file is written with a given set. In fact, the
> > > > > charset should apply to characters themselves. At least, the
> > > > > quoted-printable, non-human friendly, encoding was the least stupid.
> > > >
> > > > I doubt doing this would really be worth the effort.
> > > >
> > > > In the 21st century, people should simply use UTF-8.
> > > >
> > > > > Now that UTF8 comes everywhere, everyone receives tons of mangled mails,
> > > > > and even mailers which correctly support UTF8 and use it by default manage
> > > > > to shoot themselves in the foot when they reply to, or forward a mail. The
> > > > > system is completely broken because limited by design, and we have to learn
> > > > > to live with this brokenness.
> > > >
> > > > Only if MUAs have broken charset support or don't set a correct
> > > > "charset" header in the mails they are sending.
> > > >
> > > > If some software still can't handle UTF-8 correctly more than 10 years
> > > > after it was introduced, that's not a brokenness you can blame on UTF-8.
> > >
> > > I'm not blaming UTF-8 per se, but people who still believe in encoding
> > > *whole documents*. Copy-paste, text insertion, git output, etc... everything
> > > has a good reason not to be in the same encoding as what your MUA believes.
> >
> > How would you do this technically in a way that it's significantely
> > easier than simply finishing the UTF=8 transition?
>
> In how many decades do you think the transition will be finished ?
>
> > > If major MUAs still have problems with UTF-8 10 years after it was introduced,
> > > it's clearly the proof of a flaw in the initial design. And I'm not even
> > > discussing the stupidity which requires that you read a whole text to get
> > > its number of characters !
> >
> > The only major MUA not supporting UTF-8 is Eudora.
> >
> > And if you are talking about buggy old pine, in the latest development
> > version [1] it does not only become open source, it also got some
> > working Unicode support.
>
> No, I'm not speaking about "not supporting", but "having problems". Every
> one of us has already received mails from Thunderbird, Outlook, Notes, etc...
> with erroneously encoded characters because of this :
>
> - an UTF8 MUA sends a mail to a non-UTF8 aware one.

"non-UTF8 aware one" = Eudora (BTW: there's no Linux version)

> - this last one only sees double chars. When it wants to forward the mail
> to someone else, it keeps the chars verbatim, and sets the encoding type
> to its own, something like iso8859-1 for instance.

Let's not base everything on the one broken non-Linux MUA,

> - the final MUA, which is UTF8-aware, is very happy to detect lots of UTF8
> combinations in the forwarded mail and decides that everything in it is
> UTF8, then you get lots of chars mangled in the mail, in the middle of
> UTF8 combinations. Then, this crappy mail can be forwarded as long as
> you want between UTF8 MUAs, they will all apply heuristics and to the
> wrong thing : consider the *whole* document with *one* type.

Which MUAs exactly do ignore the "charset" of an email and try their own
guessing instead?

Or which MUAs exactly do not set a "charset" so that the receiving MUA
might have a reason for guessing?

> What I find even funnier is when, for no apparent reason, the same MUA is used
> on both ends and the contents get mangled because the sender copies a portion
> of text from somewhere else.

With which MUA and which charset settings of the users?

> Anyway, I don't want to follow up on this thread, it's *highly* off-topic here.

People want their names written correctly in changelogs.

It is therefore on-topic if the result is something like "kernel
maintainers shouldn't be using Eudora" or "kernel maintainers using pine
should upgrade to Alpine" or something similar.

> Cheers,
> Willy

cu
Adrian

--

"Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
"Only a promise," Lao Er said.
Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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