[rfc-i] Scanning non-ASCII text

Julian Reschke julian.reschke at gmx.de
Wed Sep 26 10:03:26 PDT 2012

On 2012-09-26 18:51, Martin Rex wrote:
> Paul Hoffman wrote:
>> Greetings again. The -00 draft gives as an argument for keeping
>> the all-ASCII requirement:
>>        *  In extreme cases of having to retype/scan hard copies of
>>           documents (it has been required in the past) ASCII is
>>           significantly easier to work with for rescanning and retaining
>>           all of the original information.  There can be no loss of
>>           descriptive metadata such as keywords or content tags.
> While the wording if this paragraph is debatable the content is
> acutually quite valid and quite important.

Somewhat valid and not important at all :-). If we get into a situation 
where we need to scan *new* RFCs (as of 2012 or newer), we are in 
trouble anyway.

>> This doesn't hold up for two reasons. First, scanning software has
>> handled non-ASCII characters just fine for well over a decade.
> The scanning software ("human comprehension") that is involved in
> most real-world consumption of I-Ds and RFCs by humans in a an optical
> character recognition (OCR) process called "reading" has historically
> been coping poorly with glyphs from other languages, is still coping
> poorly with this today, and there is currently no indication that
> this is going to change in the future.   Numerous glyphs from Unicode
> are completely indistinguishable when visually rendered on display
> devices for processing by the "human eye" OCR system.

Yes. So? Did anybody propose to actually use those characters?

>> Second, and more important: no RFC created in the future will
>> exist only in a printed version.
> You're mounting the horse from the wrong end.
> Changes that are completely unnecessary, but will make printed copies
> hard to comprehend, are to be avoided.  There better be a very good
> reason to break an installed base.

How do these changes make printed documents harder to understand?

> You also have to keep in mind, that there are certain popular tiny
> display (i)Devices, where the manufacturer makes it arbitrarily
> difficult to share information on them with your PC, and also
> arbitrarily difficult for end users to work around these shortcomings
> with own software, and there is currently no indication that this
> manufacturer is going to change his hostile attitude towards the
> end users who buy these devices.

Yes. But can you please elaborate what this has to do with the topic 
we're discussing?

Best regards, Julian

More information about the rfc-interest mailing list