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Prohibition of EBCDIC in text/plain

1995-06-08 00:37:25
while fighting another battle, I came across this issue again.
Ned's latest draft says:

The canonical form of any MIME text type MUST represent a line
break as a CRLF sequence.  Similarly, any occurrence of CRLF
in text MUST represent a line break.  Use of CR and LF outside
of line break sequences is also forbidden.

This forbids, among others, ISO 10646 UCS-2 and EBCDIC as text/plain
character sets.

In the transfer form, it is easy to tell why.
However, why should the message I have written here be outlawed?
Was this message legal under RFC 1521 rules?

The best reason I could think of was to keep sanity when crossing gateways
that routinely remove content-transfer-encodings, but that does not strike
me as the most compelling thing in the world.

Also, it is "cleaner" to have the number of possible charsets be limited,
but is this better done by recommendation or by fiat?

I'm not arguing for removing the restriction, only to seek a better
understanding of why it is reasonable to impose it.

    Harald A