[rfc-i] Comments on draft-iab-rfcformatreq

SM sm at resistor.net
Fri Dec 21 09:47:43 PST 2012

Hi Martin,
At 02:03 21-12-2012, Martin Rex wrote:
>A few years ago I was working on a project involving an engineer
>from Russia.  His EMails show up with a long row of question marks
>as the sender real name in my Outlook 2003 inbox.  If I double-click on
>the question marks, I get a popup window where the name is displayed
>with cyrillic characters.  But does that help in any way?  Nope.
>Both look like random junk to me, I can not recognize either, I can
>not pronounce it, I can not type it.  All by himself, that engineer
>used all Latin characters for his name "Sergey" at the end of his Emails.

The following was mentioned in this thread [1]:

   "We should be able to leave it to the author to decide how much of
    a risk that their names is garbled they want to take."

I read that as being about giving people the choice.  In practice 
(see the "All by himself" above), the person doesn't really have a choice.

>I still believe that interop is an important goal in the IETF, and that
>means that all relevant information needs to be provided in a form that
>is highly interoperable (english, ASCII).  Any non-english and non-ASCII
>information needs to be clearly seperate and optional, so that it can
>be safely ignored by those who do not recognize it.

In my opinion it is not worth trying to convince people about that as:

  (i)  Either they don't care about loss of information;

  (ii) Or they are not aware that there will be loss of information.

If the IETF wanted to be highly interoperable it would have to choose 
several working languages to reach a larger audience.  This entails 
paying for the translation costs.  The IETF would have to define the 
boundary if interoperability is viewed in terms of allowable 
characters.  One of the problems with that is that people will ask 
for the boundary to be moved.


1. http://www.rfc-editor.org/pipermail/rfc-interest/2012-December/005210.html 

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