Re: Character sets
|From:||Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, January 22, 2002, 20:11|
En réponse à "David G. Durand" <dgd@...>:
> This problem isn't going to be solved by everyone changing their
> software. People don't like to change their mail programs, and
> suggestions that they should do so, just irritate them. There are
> many tradeoffs of computer platform interface, and character encoding
> in such a choice, and one person's best solution may be another's
> worst solution.
Don't forget the people who DON'T use a mail program at all. Personally, I read
my mail with a special webmail site made by my mail provider. It has most
functions of a normal mail client (or at least the functions I find useful :),
i.e. address book, filters, signatures, etc...), is quite reliable (I never had
problems of security with it, and it was down only once in the two years I've
been using it. As a contrast, I've tried to use Outlook to read my email from
the same address, and it works only every three days...) and accessible from
any computer with an Internet connection, whatever OS it uses. And it manages
to avoid the disadvantages of other web-based e-mail like Yahoo or Hotmail
(that I've learned to know from having also a Hotmal account) by strictly
limiting the allowed mail format to MIME and the font encoding to Latin-1 (it
reads HTML as simple text with overt tags, or even not at all, still providing
for a way of reading the e-mail, only if specifically asked for. Quite a good
filtering in itself, and pretty immune to viruses), and also by not
communicating the address to commercial companies. I've NEVER received any spam
on this e-mail address.
To this I have to add that the amount of memory given for mail is of 15Mb. I've
never reached half of it, even though I keep hundreds of mails in other boxes
and received quite a few times more then 500 mails at once.
As a whole, I would thus never change my way of reading e-mail. The
disadvantage of this is that I have no control on what encoding I can read.
It's a small price to pay compared to its flexibility.
So as a rule of thumb, let's restrict ourselves to 7-bit ASCII as much as
possible, by making for instance special transcriptions for mail (after all,
that's what Greek speakers do on a daily basis), use Latin-1 as little as
possible, only when we feel it's necessary (I tend to do it automatically when
I write French, sorry :( ), and with explanations for the signs that may not
pass correctly. Ban Unicode, UTF-8 and other fancy encodings. There will always
be people at the other end who cannot receive them corectly. If you really want
to use those, make a webpage and post the URL. It's not as difficult as you
think (and I speak of experience :)) ).
And I'm sorry for this long e-mail that basically added only very little to
what David had already stated.
Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.