ietf-822
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Re: Character set Detail Considered Harmful

1991-12-20 14:14:48
Nathaniel,

I definitely appreciate the path that you are trying to walk down,
as well as the frankly remarkable effort in Keld's document.  Unfortunately,
my concern about the character set issue is based upon the belief
that I have developed that the entire topic is not yet subject to
resolution and that short-term efforts to force a resolution will only
create additional problems.

In other words, my experience tells me that this is one of those topics
that simple needs time and (independent) activity, before it can sort
itself out.  Some topics benefit from a sudden insight and wonderful
suggestion that everyone understands and embraces.  Over the last n
(where n is something like 12) months, I've watched the many discussions
about character set and I have seen no indication of such an event
happening.

I dearly hope that Keld's document, and any other efforts, do move this
issue towards resolution soon.  The other conclusion that I've come to,
in watching the many discussions, is that this is a problem for which the
solution is very, very long overdue.

That is why I think that your document MUST provide a hook that supports
whatever solution is developed.

But the continuing confusion about the topic also tells me that your 
document MUST NOT contain any details at all about specific choices.

Hence, I think that the document simply should refer the reader to the
IANA for the current list of registered charsets.  Period.

I hope that everyone understands that this does not, in any way, require
a delay in making progress with developing a 'final' solution to the charset
problem or with using it in the enhanced email environment.  If your
document simply cites IANA and it happens that RFC-CHAR (or any other
spec) attains standards status at the same time as your document, then
we are exactly where you (and the rest of us) hope to end up.  However,
if anything impedes RFC-CHAR -- as I'm afraid will -- then your document
is not, in any way, impeded.

Dave