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Re: American "insensitivity"

1991-07-13 14:13:16
On Jul 13,  1:36pm, Keld J|rn Simonsen wrote:

% Well, neither a) nor b). But I think that Europeans and Americans have
% different needs and thus priorities, and also that the Americans in
% the case of IETF has more to say than the Europeans. Anyway I want
% to have a truly international point of view, accomodating as much
% of the world as possible. Maybe I am too ambitious. To me it is a matter
% of good design and engineering, and I have tried to follow that myself 
% by producing such specifications that should be able to scale to
% accomodate the world. That should keep us all from producing and reading
% 1000's of pages of email until we join planets from other galaxes.

  Keld is very mistaken indeed if he thinks that he has the monopoly
on the European needs or that the "Americans" like me are not
sensitive to European (not to mention Asian) concerns.  I also think
that the needs and priorities of users are much more alike than
different -- based on experience living and working in Europe and the
US and E/SE Asia.  There really isn't much area that conflicts.

Good, then we are working for the same goals.

The talk about different needs I have been telling you about before, 
where we have had a very active participation on the multipart
issues from Americans, but little European, and this disinterest from
the Europen side in multipart issues has also been expressed at several
European meetings (see my previous mailings on this). 
On the other side the Europeans have been quite active in the
character set issues. That does not mean that there has been
no Americans in the character set issues. But the overall priorities
seem to be different if we look at the interests of what we have been
discussing here on the two lists. I really think this is a fair
statement of how things are. I hope we can stop that discussion now.

  The people on this list are all sensitive to those concerns and most
of us are multilingual and are trying to develop a standard that meets
not only American needs, not only European needs, but in fact the
needs of ALL languages and potential users.

I was asked for my personal position in a kind of quarrelling with Erik 
Naggum. I tried to explain my own position, not trying to indicate
that this position was totally different from everybody else's.
Anyway is this not a waste of time, that we could have used for
something productive?

  The comments from Keld that I've received in email such as "The
people on the IETF are not knowledgable about character set issues."
are neither true nor productive.  There needs to be more of a
cooperative spirit and less hostile "us Europeans versus them
Americans" if we are to develop a useful spec.

Randall, now you are unfair to me. First you cite me for something
I have not said. I have checked my mailbox. I claimed that "the writers
of RFC XXXX  were not experts on character sets"  and that was very
much in line with what Nathaniel himself has writen, eg when announcing the May 
draft:

Date: Fri, 24 May 91 15:06:02 edt
From: nsb(_at_)thumper(_dot_)bellcore(_dot_)com (Nathaniel Borenstein)

I still need help on a number of things, particularly fleshing out some
of the references and sanity-checking some of the areas in which I'm not
an expert, notably character sets, audio, and privacy-enhanced messages
(PEM).  If you know something about one of these, please read that part
of the draft extra carefully.

I felt it was fair to put such a statement in a private conversation
with Randall, which I felt was conducted in a good cooperative
tone - I took action on some of Randalls comments and told him
why I thought otherwise on some other aspects. That seemed like
a fair technical discussion to me.

Second, you are putting critical remarks from a personal
conversation with you out in the open.

  I'm sorry to put this out in public, but my frustration with being
told in email (on and off-list) that I am ignorant and insensitive to
European concerns when none of these are very true has boiled over
today.

Randall, I do not think it is fair of you to put less flattering
statements of mine from a private discussion out in public -
even how well reasoned they are. And then it is very unfair to
just misquote me. I have not said that you are ignorant nor
insensitive to i18n concerns. Actually I have been quite happy to read
your comments and I have answered them as quickly as I could and also
accomodated quite some of your remarks, as you have seen.

Could we go into cooperative mode again?

Keld

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