Re: Joel Spolsky
> Joel Spolsky wrote Joel On Software (Anyone interested incommunication of
> technical information to real humans should read it, a new book.)you have
> There Ain't No Such Thing As Plain Text
> If you have a string, in memory, in a file, or in an email message,
> to know what encoding it is in or you can cannot interpret it ordisplay it
> to users correctly.Ah, I finally found Joel's quote online:
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.