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Re: Joel Spolsky

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  • piebaldconsult
    ... communication of ... you have ... display it ... Ah, I finally found Joel s quote online: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/Unicode.html That part
    Message 1 of 34 , May 1, 2006
      > Joel Spolsky wrote Joel On Software (Anyone interested in
      communication of
      > technical information to real humans should read it, a new book.)
      >
      > There Ain't No Such Thing As Plain Text
      > If you have a string, in memory, in a file, or in an email message,
      you have
      > to know what encoding it is in or you can cannot interpret it or
      display it
      > to users correctly.

      Ah, I finally found Joel's quote online:
      http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/Unicode.html

      That part about hex-binary doesn't appear in the online version.

      Anyway, a little further on he says:

      "
      Of course this drove purists crazy... how can you read the HTML file
      until you know what encoding it's in?! Luckily, almost every encoding
      in common use does the same thing with characters between 32 and 127,
      so you can always get this far on the HTML page without starting to
      use funny letters:
      "

      So I think an argument can certainly be made that "plain text" refers
      to characters between 32 and 127 (inclusive) in whatever encoding you
      choose (other than EBCDIC?), and that would be why ISO 8601 limits
      it's allowed characters to a (very small) subset of those.

      The fact that "plain text" can't represent all possible languages is
      the whole point to the concept.
    • piebaldconsult
      ... result ...
      Message 34 of 34 , May 2, 2006
        > because of the html elements e.g. <b> for bold. That makes the end
        result
        > rich, but the html syntax is expressed in plain text.

        <wimper/>
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