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Re: The transition to UTF-8 header fields

1999-02-10 08:52:20
On 10 Feb 1999 00:19:05 GMT, you said:
I mentioned two strategies for UTF-8 header field display in message

   (1) Display every 8-bit header field as UTF-8.

   (2) Display 8-bit header fields as UTF-8 _if_ the message contains
       the following special header field: ...

I said that many implementors would be much happier doing #2 than #1,
because #1 creates new problems for current users and #2 doesn't.

``Wrong,'' Keith said.

So I've checked with some implementors. The ones who've responded so far
are happier doing #2 than #1. Evidently I was right and Keith was wrong.

Remember that in case 1 *or* 2, if the implementor does what we decide
to do, the result is users that have an MUA that supports whatever it
is we decided on.  Now, the implementors say they would rather
implement 2.

That's all fine and good. Unfortunately, what I thought Keith was
talking about was which one causes more problems in the *boundary
cases*, such as:

A) Which approach, 1 or 2, causes more brain damage if sent to an MUA
that has *NOT* been upgraded yet?

B) Which approach, 1 or 2, deals with weirdness such as trying to do
an UTF-8 style reply to an unflagged ISO8859-23 message?

Remember, there's probably enough manure-ware out there sending untagged
8-bit headers already that you need to worry about this.  A quick test
of the last 1,500 or so pieces of mail I received, 3 had characters that
failed an isascii() test.  Amazingly enough, one of them contained these

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-2
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by id OAA25799
From: Piotr Strzy¿ewski <gucio(_at_)zeus(_dot_)polsl(_dot_)gliwice(_dot_)pl>

This one managed to go through 3 sendmails without anything noticing the
lack of RFC2184 quoting on the character following the 'y' in the From:
which originally showed up as a raw unquoted x'BF'.

Yowza.  And no, my MUA (exmh) didn't display it right, because it
looks for 2184 quoting for cues on non-ASCII.

                                Valdis Kletnieks
                                Computer Systems Senior Engineer
                                Virginia Tech

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