ASCII

Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters mertz at gnosis.cx
Mon Jun 23 09:13:21 CEST 2003


Alan Kennedy <alanmk at hotmail.com> wrote previously:
|1.  Usenet:  Yes it is true that Usenet messages are 7-bit ASCII.  But
|look at how much parsing and wrapping has to go on in order to make
|8-bit characters (áéíóú) travel safely through the 7-bit transports that
|may be encountered on Usenet.

Indeed.  But being an ignorant American, I hardly ever have the need to
make those 8-bit characters.  Let alone to read all those really
important message I receive that indicate they are multi-byte encoded
using "ks_c_5601-1987" :-).

|One more point:  although .mbox files are textual, most of the world's
|email is stored in MS Outlook binary *.pst files.  Or in some
|proprietary format on (hot|yahoo|*)mail.com servers, and viewed through
|a HTML interface.

The storage issue is kinda peripheral though.  The things that me and
Alan and Martin and the rest WRITE in these discussions is 7-bit ASCII
essays.  I could write these same compositions on an Underwood
typewriter with little extra effort (it would be a bit harder to let
thousands of people read them within minutes that way, but that's not
about the document format itself).

So yeah, my plain ASCII message might get squashed into some *.pst file
format, but the identical words and line breaks themselves are still
encoded.  Likewise, my message might get stored on a FAT, or ReiserFS,
or ext3, or NTFS filesystem, or on an Oracle dedicated partition in an
RDBMS, with various differences in how the bytes are arranged
physically.  It's still the same message.

Yours, Lulu...

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