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Re: [idn] WG last call summary
> To go back to the original argument, trying to put a stop on a standard
> getting through because it breaks a piece of softwre written some time ago
> that a small percentage of people use today is a dumb idea.
I have very little sympathy for software that breaks when given unexpected
input. But this is not the concern. The concern is that there is a bunch of
widely used software that prohibits certain inputs. It does so because the
standards in effect at the time the software was written said those inputs are
> To argue that it's upsetting the existing user base is also flawed - this is
> not about keeping things cosy for ourselves at a cost to those outside of
> the Latin alphabet. If somebody can show how this process will break things
> for the majority of users (in other words using IE 4 and above, with Outlook
> Express for mail), THEN it would be a good idea to question
Here's a quote from a message sent by Carl Gutekunst,
<firstname.lastname@example.org>, to the IDN list on 10-Feb-2000 that directly
I conducted some experiments with raw 8-bit data in message header fields a
year or so ago in response to requests from customers in Japan and China.
There were (and are) some native Japanese and Chinese language E-mail clients
that quite happily stuff unencoded Shift-JIS, EUC JIS, Big 5, et al into the
Subject and the phrase fields (but not the route-addr) of addresses.
The results were similar to what we saw with Just-Send-8 a decade ago. As long
as the entire end-to-end path had been carefully managed to specifically
handle these messages, they would be received and displayed correctly. But if
any SMTP relay or client wasn't party to the bilateral agreement, all kinds of
damage happened, including RFC2047 conversions, nonsensical character set
conversions, seemingly random mangling, 8-bit truncation, and non-deliveries.
(And I'm *not* including untagged charset mismatches, which would not be an
issue if we used UTF-8 exclusively.)
Carl later stated that he tested using sendmail 8.9.3, UofW Imapd 4.5, and
Netscape Communicator 4.7. The latter dumped core.
I've done similar tests and reached similar conclusions.
In short, this proposal DOES break things, so interoperability has to be