[Alpine-info] Alpine is converting ? to ??
Benjamin R. Haskell
alpine at benizi.com
Tue Mar 10 11:06:30 PDT 2009
On Tue, 10 Mar 2009, Mark Crispin wrote:
> On Tue, 10 Mar 2009, M.RossARR wrote:
> > > The main usage today of ISO-8859-1 is by Americans who don't know
> > > any better.
> > That would be me! Until now! Thanks for the enlightenment!
> I do my best to try to get the word out. Death to ISO-8859-1. Death to
> all charsets other than UTF-8.
> One charset to rule them all
> One charset to find them;
> One charset to bring them all
> And in interoperability bind them!
The rest of Mark's explanation (which I've omitted from this response) is
really good. UTF-8 = wonderful, happy, joy, hooray. If you don't have
very specific, very technical reasons to do otherwise (encoding ancient
Chinese texts, or dealing with legacy systems that absolutely, positively
can't be converted), you should use UTF-8 everywhere and anywhere it's an
option. It's far and away the best encoding for general purpose computing
If you want some Unicode/UTF-8 advocacy info, especially geared toward
software developers, everyone should read:
(repeats many of Mark's points, but is a good read)
But, I felt like playing devil's advocate and pointing out the fact that
it's not perfect. Two good, relatively-short lists of problems are:
The secret life of Unicode ["ancient" in WWW timescale]:
and Wikipedia's list of "Issues" on the Unicode page:
(many repeats between the two)
Personally, the only thing that ever frustrated me in Unicode was
discovering that there's no way to specify the "simplified" (vs.
"traditional") form of a Chinese character. There are longstanding
debates about this, and in the end I feel Unicode's Han Unification is a
good compromise. [It's similar enough to wanting to be able to specify
the "italicized" (vs. "regular") form of a letter (i.e. something that
should be handled "above" the Unicode layer)... But, I digress.]
I'm not so much "UTF-8 forever!" as "UTF-8 for now and the foreseeable
More information about the Alpine-info