Actually, it *is* a valid argument - consider that hieroglyphs were
unreadable until they found the Rosetta Stone. The media lasted, but the
ability to parse didn't.
ASCII has proven to be understandable 40 years after being written.
XML has proven to be understandable 5 years after being written.
Hieroglyphs have proven to be recognizable but not understandable 2000 years
after being written (2000 years placing it just BEFORE the Rosetta Stone
ASCII is NOT understandable by people who can't read and/or speak languages
which use the Latin alphabet. It is not understandable by them now, and it
was not understandable 40 years ago.
So, I agree with you about the ability to parse and understand. But ASCII
doesn't support that ability for most people in the world.
Hieroglyphs were perfectly understandable for the whole of their history -
to an ancient Egyptian. Just like ASCII is perfectly understandable to
someone who understands ASCII [ an ancient IETFer ? 8o) ]. Neither of
these facts helps the population of today's world to the extent that they
COULD be helped by more suitable formats.
ANY storage format relies on its encoding being translated / interpreted
before they can be understood. I suspect that none of us would be reading
ASCII, if we did not have PCs to do this for us. What we should be pushing
for is a format which can be translated / interpreted into as many languages
as possible, so as not to disadvantage world citizens who can not deal with
* - Email: graham(_dot_)travers(_at_)bt(_dot_)com
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2001 5:28 PM
Cc: doug(_at_)BROADSOFT(_dot_)COM; ietf(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org
Subject: Re: HTML better for small PDAs
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