On Tue, 10 Jul 2001, Tim Bray wrote: > Boy, this one's tough. Yep. And we've been there before, though by accident/ignorance rather than design. Some will remember the early days of character-mode browsers which didn't handle what we now count as "normal" diacritics (eacute, auml, etc) because 7-bit ASCII was the default. Even with acceptance of 8859-* the Welsh were still disenfranchised because w-circumflex is a normal daily character (unsolved unless it's been added somewhere I haven't noticed). This wasn't a case of "characters not permitted", and it related to data characters not names, so it was basically a font-and-rendering problem, but the sense of 6 million users having to settle for the non-usability of their language still existed. > Realistically, there are 3 options: > > 1. Leave it the way it is. > 2. Do Blueberry and then repeat the process for Unicode 3.2 > and 4.0 and so on every couple of years forever. > 3. Bite the bullet, write the rules in terms of Unicode > metadata and go to a pure use-by-reference architecture, > probably adding a syntactic signal to reference the > Unicode version number. > > I think (3.) will prove to be really hard to do well - and > then the Unicode metadata fields might get changed and screw > it all up. I think (2.) is not unreasonable, but has the > institutional disadvantage that the XML standardization effort > has to become an ongoing process ad infinitum. As you say, a lot of this is trust: I prefer (3) if we can feel safe that a by-reference approach will handle the problem. > I still go for (1.). My opposition to NEL has hardened, > because of a strong fear that this one will cause real > wreckage on a widespread basis, not just in linguistic > corner cases. > > But I really can't see how anyone can get behind any of > these positions and feel entirely comfortable with where > they find themselves standing. I sure don't. -Tim If the case for (2) and (3) is not yet fully proven or soluble, (1) must be the choice for the moment, with the matter to be revisited. ///Peter
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