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[ddlm-group] On process


Like Buridan's ass we are starving to death between the equally
enticing mound of hay that is UTF-8 and the smorgasbord of mixed
vegetables offered by multiple encodings.

I suggest that this group complete a *draft* CIF2 specification
that describes (if necessary) specific character allusions in
terms of a canonical UTF-8 encoding, and states that UTF-8 is the
designated encoding for files conformant to the specification.

Post the completed draft in the first instance to the cif-developers
list (since that is supposed to the the most relevant target audience),
but certainly to other lists at the same time if folk think that would
be productive. By all means accompany the release with a commentary on
the difficulties we have faced over the encoding issue; by all means
implement a survey and analyse the results to assess community demand
for an upward revision of the draft - but let us give people something
concrete to begin with, and challenge them actively to protest if the
proposal will impede their work.

Note that this proposal doesn't necessarily reflect a personal
preference for a single mandatory encoding - I still cannot
decide which I "prefer". But if the suggested draft is published,
I will not vote against it unless I suddenly see clearly a real
problem that it would throw up in the way of any applications I
would envisage writing. I would hope "the community" would respond
in similar vein, so that stated objections would both represent real
difficulties and help to define the environments giving rise to these
real difficulties.

Best wishes
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