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Re: going back to stone axes -Reply
Your personal experience is very valuable - and the things you say about
being able to prototype tools with things like perl, awk, emacs, tcl, etc. are
But there is a fundamental concern I have with your base assumption that
ascii, especially 7 bit ascii (the lingua franca of the SMTP world) is
adequate as a character set for representing something as fundamental
as identity representations around the world. It's not. It works precisely
for that subset of humanity whose native tounge is derived from German
with a Latin character representation. 7-bit ascii doesn't even work all
that well for that much larger part of the world who use a Latin character
set for Latin derived languaged.
One of the significant objections to X.500 and Distinguished Names is that
they are too Western-European Centric - that discussion about surnames,
generational qualifiers, etc. An attempt to require everyone in the world
to conform to an identity represention rendered into something that vi can
easily manipulate, or which is simply produced via printf and parsed via
scanf, will doom your effort to be limited to prototype and toy status, and
will never allow it to cover the range of uses we need.
And yes, base-64 encodings in MIME provide binary data transfer, but
isn't it a shame that in this day and time we're still bit-stuffing our transfer
protocols because they were written for a time when KSR-33 devices
were the best, most interactive interface device available?