[docs] [issue20906] Issues in Unicode HOWTO

Martin v. Löwis report at bugs.python.org
Sat Mar 22 13:22:20 CET 2014

Martin v. Löwis added the comment:

"4. Many Internet standards are defined in terms of textual data"

I believe the author was thinking of the "old" TCP-based protocols (ftp, smtp, RFC 822, HTTP), which have their commands/messages as ASCII-strings,  with a variable-length records (often terminated by line end).

I think bringing this up as an argument against UTF-32 somewhat flawed, for two reasons:
1. Historically, many of these protocols restricted themselves to pure ASCII, so using UTF-8 is as much a protocol violation as is using UTF-32.
2. The tricky part in this protocols is often not the risk of embedding NUL, but embedding CRLF (as 0D 0A might well appear in a character, a.g. MALAYALAM LETTER UU)

OTOH, it is a fact that several of these protocols got revised to support Unicode, and often re-interpreting the data as UTF-8 (with MIME being the notable exception that actually allows for UTF-32 on the wire if somebody choses to).

nosy: +loewis

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