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Re: Absurd or reasonable request!

From: Res Pons <pons32_at_hotmail.com>
Date: 2006-03-24 05:35:15 CET

Thanks for the explanation and yes I was talking about all those capital A's
with wigglies and accents around them. I assumed it has to do with
non-english keyboard and wasn't sure what they were. The funny or odd thing
is that when I juts clicked on reply to your email, in this very compose
email window those characters disappeared. But I wonder if I click on send
now whether they'll be back and you get to see them or not. However, if
characters not preserved during commits, that can't be good, right?

----Original Message Follows----
From: Ryan Schmidt <subversion-2006Q1@ryandesign.com>
To: Res Pons <pons32@hotmail.com>
CC: users@subversion.tigris.org
Subject: Re: Absurd or reasonable request!
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 01:39:45 +0100
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On Mar 23, 2006, at 23:11, Res Pons wrote:

>Ok this is an oddball request. Would it be unreasonable of me to ask
>those using non-English or latin language keyboards to temporarily switch
>to English when posting to the user list? Some of the emails or posts by
>users from overseas are coming in in unreadable fonts and character that
>don't make any sense, at least to me. Maybe I'm doing it wrong and need
>to change my settings?

When you talk about non-English characters I presume you are talking about
non-ASCII or perhaps non-ISO-8859-1 characters, and I will defend their use
in a few ways.

Some emails with these characters are necessary because the problem being
reported is (at least presumed to be) directly related to these special
characters, for example this problem committing files with Russian names:


Even that archive, however, doesn't get the encoding right; it delivers the
page as ISO-8859-1 though the email was sent in Windows-1251. I'll take
that issue up with the maintainer of the archive.

Other messages with special characters contain them because some people's
names contain special characters, including Subversion developer Branko
─îibej. It's not unreasonable for people to expect that they would be able
to use their name the way it's supposed to be written.

I've seen messages including special characters in footers added by the
email provider, generally free email providers, and generally to advertise
their services. When such services are geared towards non- English-speaking
people, it's not unexpected that these advertisements would be written in
the relevant non-English language. Probably safe to ignore such footers
since you're probably not in their target group anyway. It would be ideal
if people would not post such footers to the list, but this is generally
not under the poster's control. (This applies also to corporate email
accounts even [or especially] in English-speaking countries with lengthy
legalese footers.) It would furthermore be ideal if people posting to
public discussion groups would refrain from using such broken email
services, but I fear that's a losing battle. Even your email included one:

>Express yourself instantly with MSN Messenger! Download today - it's FREE!
>http://messenger.msn.click-url.com/go/onm00200471ave/ direct/01/

No special characters, granted, but it's part of the same problem.

Text emails do not include information on what font to use; that decision
is left up to the email client or to the operating system's text rendering
facility, and as such the sender has no influence over it. You will of
course need the right font to be able to see characters in other scripts. A
default install of Mac OS X includes beautiful fonts for most of the
world's languages, and there are optional installs to deal with most of the
rest; I do not know what the situation is like on Windows or Linux.

If the sender used HTML mail, then this can contain font references,
including references to fonts which do not exist on your system, which is
one of countless reasons why HTML mail is frowned upon, especially on
public discussion lists.

If you have all the right fonts and you still don't see the right
characters, your email client may be at fault, and you should work with the
email client vendor to resolve the issues. For example, if you're using
Microsoft's Hotmail webmail service, it could be that they're failing to
process some kind of encoding properly (since there are many different ways
characters can be encoded for transmission through email) and you should
take the issue up with them. I would expect, though, that any such problems
would have been worked out of the system long ago, since Hotmail has been
around for a long time, having been the very first webmail system in
existence. Before you report this as a problem to Microsoft, therefore, you
  could look at some other web page containing characters in the script
you're trying to view. If that page displays correctly, blame Hotmail. If
that page also has problems, suspect the OS or its fonts.

Express yourself instantly with MSN Messenger! Download today - it's FREE!

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Received on Fri Mar 24 05:36:12 2006

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