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Re: Character set registration

1995-12-17 14:52:03
> I was looking through draft-ietf-822ext-mime-reg-02.txt with regard to > the character set registration issue. First, a typographical comment: > Section 5.2.1 refers to a four week period for review. > Section 5.2.2 refers to a two week period for review. > Which of these is correct?
All the periods are supposed to be two weeks. I'll fix this in the next draft of this document -- thanks for pointing it out.
> Second, a procedural question: After this draft becomes an RFC, will > the currently existing character sets that appear in the Assigned > Numbers RFC be required to go through the review?
Yes and no. The answer is yes to the extent that the registry of types appropriate for use in MIME text has to be established. This will require a review of existing registrations, and as long as we're at it we might as well review them to make sure they all meets the other requirements. There may also be some registrations that are incomplete and thus do not meet the completeness requirements laid out in the specification. These are the only ones that may be removed.
> As I remember, many > of them were registered en masse a long time ago, and most of them are > useless for (i.e. unrecognized by any) MIME application.
The usefulness or uselessness of a given character set is NOT a criteria for registration. For one thing, it clearly isn't IANA's job to figure out what character sets are useful to a given application. IANA lacks both the delusion of sufficient expertise and the foolhardiness necessary to attempt such a thing.
Allow me to provide you with a small example of the problems inherent in this area. You assert that most of them aren't supported by any MIME application. This is, in fact, provably false, because I have a counterexample -- *my* MIME application supports almost all of them! In fact I know of at least one other application that provides support comparable to what I provide in mine.
Registration is a way of making a given definition known, describing one key characteristic we all need to know, and giving that definition one or more names. That's it. Any exceptation that this process is going to say (or has ever said) more than this is totally specious.
The particular issue of whether or not a given character set is appropriate for a given application is entirely out of scope, and when it's necessary to do this it should be dealt with either by getting the IAB to come up with their long-awaited guidelines for character set usage or by writing an applicability statement for a given class of applications and getting it approved. I wish you the best of luck on either of these enterprises, should you attempt to follow up on getting them done...
> I would hope that such a house cleaning occurs.
It isn't going to happen, at least not to the extent that you seem to want. See above.