Re: Characters in range 128-159, incl.

Murray Maloney (murray@sco.COM)
Thu, 26 Jan 95 21:14:27 EST

I responded to Larry's suggestion with:
> >
> > Bzzt! Wrong answer. Thanks for playing. Next contestant?
Larry graciously follows up with:
> While I appreciate your humor, perhaps you could elaborate. In
> particular, is there a way we could deploy HTML that would allow
> the use of the same DTD but with some variation on the character sets
> used in the document, in order to accomodate the widespread use of
> national character encodings and special character assignments such as
> the one that initiated this thread?

I can't right now -- in fact, I think that others can
do it better. So, I'd like to ask Dan Connolly to
repost the excellent analysis of the problem that
he posted on the sgml-internet mail list recently.

The bottom line is that you can't have your cake and eat it too.
If you use SGML, you have to specify an encoding scheme
-- not for transport, but for markup and content --
and you are not free to free to change your mind later.

For the short to medium term the only option for coding
seems to be entity sets. For conversion from other
file formats, that should not represent a problem.
For those creating HTML in vi, it might be a bit
of an annoyance. But, if we can't reliably predict
what glyph should be presented when code #137
is encountered, then we can't make progress.

The bigger problem, as I see it, is that we haven't yet
agreed on a character repertoire (set of glyphs).
Once again, before we go any further, could we please
make a start by agreeing on some set of the entities
in the appendix of the SGML standard (also in Handbook).
In parallel, we need to figure out what to do about fonts.
I suspect that Lee Quin and James Clark may have something
to contribute to that discussion.

If we had the entities and the fonts now, then this
thread would not have had to be started, because
it would be possible to deal with converting
Microsoft 8-bit chars --> HTML entities.


Murray C. Maloney Internet:
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