[Python-Dev] Re: Python-dev summary for 2002-08-15 - 2002-09-01

François Pinard pinard@iro.umontreal.ca
Tue, 03 Sep 2002 21:39:44 -0400

[Steve Holden]

> It looks especially bad in my standard mailreader variable-pitch font.

Oh!  You are touching a sensible nerve! :-)

There are many cases where people do ASCII art in messages, and I'm not
speaking of signatures here.  People often insert ASCII tables or simple
explicative drawings, these capabilities are useful enough for not being
dismissed.  You should use fixed width fonts when receiving, and even when
sending email.  (And people should limit their messages to 79 columns.)

If something looks bad because of your variable-pitch fonts, the problem is
emphatically _not_ in the sent message, and does not justify any alteration to
the format of those messages.

Another example is the fact that many fonts nowadays decided to improve over
ASCII, and have an apostrophe which is not symmetrical to a grave accent.  By
design and since ASCII 1, long ago, they should be symmetrical.  A few people
push for everybody to stop `quoting' like this.  I strongly believe that for
displaying ASCII text, people should use ASCII fonts.  If fonts are wrong, and
despite many fonts are wrong, this should not be seen as the sender problem.

The push is sometimes accompanied with the suggestion of switching to Unicode
all over, as a way to avoid the problem.  It is surely a good idea, but we are
not there yet.  In the meantime, ASCII stays ASCII.

François Pinard   http://www.iro.umontreal.ca/~pinard