[rfc-i] Character sets, was Comments on draft-iab-rfcformat

John R Levine johnl at taugh.com
Tue Dec 18 17:25:38 PST 2012

> Accents may or may not be 99% prevalent.  Equally, I am sure that there are 
> unicode elements which are missing from 99% of deployed machines.
> Trying to make rules around the likely prevalence of representability of 
> individual code points in widely deployed scripts seems a recipe for unending 
> grief.

We've spent the past decade saying that we can't do anything that might 
inconvenience the ever smaller number of people who use 80 character ASCII 
page printers, while totally ignoring the ever larger number who use the 
kinds of devices that people actually use these days, web browsers, 
tablets, and the like.  Really, it's time to get beyond that.

While I agree that it would probably not be a great idea to fill our RFCs 
with glyphs used only in classical Tibetan, it wouldn't be hard to pick a 
profile of commonly used Unicode characters, e.g. the ones that IDNA2008 
allows, and tell people that if their display device doesn't handle them, 
it's time to upgrade, or if they just can't, to use the ugly downgraded 
version of the documents.

John Levine, johnl at iecc.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. http://jl.ly

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