[rfc-i] Data point [Re: Fwd:I-D ACTION:draft-hoffman-utf8-rfcs-03.txt]

Martin Duerst duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp
Mon Oct 6 21:08:19 PDT 2008

Hello Dave,

At 09:01 08/10/07, Dave CROCKER wrote:
>Brian E Carpenter wrote:
>> Thanks. My results on Windows XP:
>Thanks for conducting such an extensive and pragmatic test sequence.  It is 
>exactly these sorts of combinatorial toss-and-eat activities for which the core 
>representation of RFCs have been famously robust.  I've understood that 
>robustness as being a continuing requirement.

Well, yes, but as Brian showed, just too good to be true.

The main issues are line endings and the infamous form feed.
As Brian showed, the traditional US-ASCII stuff is
essentially unreadable in Notepad.

Also, there are quite a number of cases where the FF confuses
some printers and some software.

So the conclusion is probably that current RFCs are famously robust
with the tools we always used for them because they worked.
Similar things very much apply to the new proposal!

Also, I think there are various failure modes. For ASCII-only,
we had:

a) Something went wrong, and it's obvious that something went wrong.

b) Something went wrong, but we never noticed until it's too late.

With the new proposal, we potentially add another:

c) Something went wrong, and those who care will notice.

Clearly, most of the failures for current ASCII are in the a)
category; not having much in b) is a kind of low-level but
important robustness. The new addition of c) applies to
mangled characters and the like. Essentially, correct rendering
of e.g. Chinese is important for people who can read Chinese.
And those people will notice that something when wrong when
it went wrong.

Regards,    Martin.

>By my reading of your results, your test demonstrates that raw UTF-8 produces 
>unpredictable and/or undesirable outcomes with common tools.
>Hence it fails the requirement.
>   Dave Crocker
>   Brandenburg InternetWorking
>   bbiw.net
>rfc-interest mailing list
>rfc-interest at rfc-editor.org

#-#-#  Martin J. Du"rst, Assoc. Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
#-#-#  http://www.sw.it.aoyama.ac.jp       mailto:duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp     

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