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Re: charset philosophy

1991-07-11 10:20:47
I hate to say this, but X.400 has the right solution!   The original content
types are specified, and any performed conversions are indicated in the

  Isn't this the equivalent of the much-attacked notion of encapsulating 
the entire message that was floated (and roundly attacked as 
UA-unfriendly) on this list a few weeks ago?
  Unless I'm missing something, the expected action of a receiver would 
be to serially un-do the conversions so as to be able to present the 
message in the form of the original types, more or less.   That is, of 
course, in the case that goes one step beyond Erik's, which is an 
ANSI/ISO charset machine sitting on the far side of the EBCDIC 
environment and requiring a second conversion.
  It seems to me that there are two philosophically quite different 
approaches here, one of which is to assume careful and detail-level 
conversions to the local environment (which is similar to the situation 
with, and arguments for, transport encoding at the minimum-body-part 
level only) and the other is to assume a something-centric 
(ASCII-centric, 8859-1-centric, IA5-centric, SMTP-centric, 
X.400-centric,...) world and try to make everyone else adapt to it.  I 
think there are, of course, arguments for both.
  Or am I missing something?

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