Excerpts from transarc.system.ietf-822: 29-Apr-91 a plea for simplicity
Mark Crispin(_at_)tomobiki-ch (4215)
(1) Establishment of the following Content Types:
a) TEXT (!) unspecified character set text. This is what we have *NOW*.
Don't give me this bullshit that it is not useful. It has been useful
for 20 years, and it isn't going to vanish tommorrow.
Here is my attempt at a rationale for NOT using ``text'' as a label.
What do the 7-bit bytes mean? Ordinary US/ASCII? Japanese 2022?
If somebody successfully negotiates 8-bit transfer, what do their 8-bit
bytes mean? Are they French 646? Full 4-octet 10646?
The whole point is to allow people to communicate. I'd extend this and
say that it's our job to let compatible enclaves know how to
communicate, and then to push for the growth of those enclaves until
they subsume all interested participants.
Indeed, though, we need to keep it simple for folks already
communicating with extended-charsets to continue to do so, but just in a
recognizable fashion. I believe that the SMTP work is approaching
conclusion on their piece of this charter, with a simple upgrade. I
believe that it's the job of the RFC-XXXX designers to do their piece,
and that as a minimum messages should describe to what charset
specification they have been composed, so that the receiver has a
maximal chance of extracting meaning.
I believe that the discussion is complicated and taxing, but that the
result should not be.