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Re: simplemail draft RFC available

1993-04-16 16:22:19
   : > him*! ...

should probably treat the asterisk as a close.  Handling this right
depends on knowing about alphanumerics and punctuation and how they
work in various character sets.

  Slippery-slope warning....

  To make the above work, you are going to need to know both character
set and language.  This one _might_ be ok, but the majority of these
sorts of decisions are dependent on style rules that are
language-specific (rather than just character-set-specific) and may even
differ between two countries that use what is putatively the same

I know.  Luckily, it's not disastrous for a UA to guess wrong.  (The
worst that happens is that the fonts used are out of phase for the
duration of the paragraph.)

I'd expect most UAs to implement rules that make sense for English
(whatever those may happen to be) for at least US-ASCII.  More
sophisticated UAs might take advantage of the character set and
language (do we have language yet?).  Heuristics for this kind of
thing can develop over time.

A first stab at a heuristic for English/US-ASCII (and the one I'll
probably use) might be: Treat as an open at the beginning of the line
or following whitespace, quotes (unless followed by whitespace), dash,
slash, and opening parens/brackets/braces.  Otherwise, treat as a
close.  I'm sure that there are many situations which break this, but
it should handle most cases (in English).

Also, you can look at the other delimiters: If you're unsure about
the first one, but the second of the same type looks like a close, the
first was probably an open.  Or if the nesting only works out one way,
assume it is right.

Other than saying that an open can't precede white space and a close
can't follow it, I think it's better not to insist on anything.

Evan Kirshenbaum                       +------------------------------------
    HP Laboratories                    | Never ascribe to malice that which
    3500 Deer Creek Road, Building 26U | can adequately be explained by
    Palo Alto, CA  94304               | stupidity.
    kirshenbaum(_at_)hpl(_dot_)hp(_dot_)com            |