Re: A challenge to the ASCII proponents.

Discussion in 'Python' started by eltronic@juno.com, Jul 19, 2003.

  1. Guest

    On Sat, 19 Jul 2003 15:59:16 +0100 Alan Kennedy <>
    writes maybe none of the below:
    > Martin v. Loewis
    > >> So what do you think about this message?:
    > >>
    > >> γίγνωσκω
    > >>
    > >> Look Ma, no markup. And not every character uses two bytes,

    > either.
    > >> And I can use Umlauts (äöü) and Arabic (ءﺎﻣ.ﺔﻛﺮﺷ)
    > >> if I want to.

    >
    >
    > The final point I'd like to make [explicit] is: nobody had to ask me
    > how or why my xml snippet worked: there were no tricks. Nobody asked
    > for debugging information, or for reasons why they couldn't see it:


    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
    is how my email picked it up.
    other messages and replys were inconsistently rendered.
    isn't this the kind of thing the test groups were designed for?
    IIR, 7 bits is the standard in email & usenet.
    no one should expect more than 7
    from any program or relay. the proper way
    would seem to be html using char entity's
    html appears to be no ones favorite format in email or usenet,
    so let the flames begin.
    I hope I haven't been hoodwinked into replying in 8bit as well.


    e
     
    , Jul 19, 2003
    #1
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  2. Alan Kennedy <> writes:

    > 2. The only other person who managed it, without using markup, was
    > Martin von Loewis, who is so good at this stuff that he confidently
    > makes statements like "what I did was right: it was Google that got it
    > wrong". Martin used the UTF-8 character set, i.e. a non-ASCII,
    > non-7-bit-clean character set, to achieve this. Although I'm sure
    > Martin could have managed it with UTF-7 as well.


    It wasn't that hard to do: I only had to ask my newsreader to sent the
    message as UTF-8. If my newsreader had chosen a
    content-transfer-encoding of base64 or quoted-printable, it even would
    have been 7-bit clean.

    > 3. If anybody else was willing to give it a try, they don't seem to
    > have had enough confidence in their knowledge of encodings, MIME,
    > transports, NNTP, etc, etc, to have actually hit the "send" button, in
    > case it didn't work. Which doesn't bode well for the average person in
    > the street: if the technology specialists in this newsgroup don't feel
    > in command of the issue, what hope for everyone else?


    It's a matter of time. Web browsers are ahead of all other software,
    here, as they first hit the problem of displaying content in a wide
    variety of languages. Over time, most email agents and news readers
    will catch up, getting it right without bothering the user.

    It is not that MIME is more complicated than XML, on the contrary.
    It is just that authors of MIME software, for some reason, don't
    care that much about these issues.

    Regards,
    Martin
     
    Martin v. =?iso-8859-15?q?L=F6wis?=, Jul 20, 2003
    #2
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  3. On 20 Jul 2003 18:56:51 -0700, (Steven D'Aprano) wrote:

    >Alan Kennedy <> wrote in message news:<>...
    >> Alan Kennedy:
    >>
    >> > The final point I'd like to make [explicit] is: nobody had to ask
    >> > me how or why my xml snippet worked: there were no tricks. Nobody
    >> > asked for debugging information, or for reasons why they couldn't
    >> > see it:

    >
    >Sorry Alan, but when I follow your instructions and save your XML to
    >disk and open it in Opera 6.01 on Win 98, I get this:
    >
    >XML parsing failed: not well-formed (1:0)
    >
    >At least it renders visibly in my browser, although I don't think its
    >rendering the way you wished. <grin>
    >
    >(For the record, this is the contents of the XML file, triple-quoted
    >for your convenience:
    >"""<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    ><verb>γίγνωσκω</verb>""")
    >
    >
    >[snip]
    >> In summary:
    >>
    >> 1. I managed to make a greek word, using the original greek glyphs,
    >> appear on everyone's "rendering surface", by posting a 7-bit clean XML
    >> snippet. Another poster widened the software coverage even further by
    >> posting a 7-bit clean HTML snippet. Both of our 7-bit markup snippets
    >> travelled safely throughout the entirety of UseNet, including all the
    >> 7-bit relays and gateways.

    >
    >I couldn't see either rendered correctly in either Opera's newsreader
    >or the Google archive.
    >
    >> 2. The only other person who managed it, without using markup, was
    >> Martin von Loewis, who is so good at this stuff that he confidently
    >> makes statements like "what I did was right: it was Google that got it
    >> wrong". Martin used the UTF-8 character set, i.e. a non-ASCII,
    >> non-7-bit-clean character set, to achieve this. Although I'm sure
    >> Martin could have managed it with UTF-7 as well.

    >
    >Martin's effort did work for me in Opera's newsreader, but not in the
    >Google Groups archive. But we already knew that Google broke it.
    >
    >> 3. If anybody else was willing to give it a try, they don't seem to
    >> have had enough confidence in their knowledge of encodings, MIME,
    >> transports, NNTP, etc, etc, to have actually hit the "send" button, in
    >> case it didn't work. Which doesn't bode well for the average person in
    >> the street: if the technology specialists in this newsgroup don't feel
    >> in command of the issue, what hope for everyone else?

    >
    >Exactly. Which brings us back to Ben's suggestion: when writing for a
    >general audience using unknown systems, stick to ASCII, or at least
    >follow your rich text with a description of what your reader should
    >see:
    >
    >"""And I can use Umlauts (äöü) -- you should see a, o and u all in
    >lowercase with two dots on top."""
    >
    >It's a mess and I despair. It would be nice if everyone used bug-free
    >XML-aware newsreaders, browsers and mail clients, but the majority
    >don't. That's why I always practice defensive writing whenever I use
    >any character I can't see on my keyboard, and spell it out in ASCII.
    >That's not very satisfactory, but its better than some random
    >percentage of your audience seeing "?????".
    >

    Here's a way that's been around a while (you have ghostscript, right?)

    ====< gignooskoo.ps >====================================
    gsave 72 72 scale
    /Symbol findfont 1.0 scalefont setfont
    1.0 10.0 moveto (\147\151\147\156\167\163\153\167) show
    showpage grestore
    =========================================================


    Of course, if you use tools (ms word, pdfwriter) to get that done,
    you'll wind up with 24,655 bytes of resources and font info and privacy compromise
    instead of 135 bytes of native PS level 1 ;-)

    Or a 102-byte one-liner that may not be multipage context friendly, but should show in ghostscript:

    /Symbol findfont 72 scalefont setfont 72 720 moveto (\147\151\147\156\167\163\153\167) show showpage

    Regards,
    Bengt Richter
     
    Bengt Richter, Jul 21, 2003
    #3
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