On Fri, 13 Jan 2006, Nick May wrote:
> So how are these benefits rubbish? Are you going to explain to the
> guy with the modem why his phonebill is 8% higher when he accesses a
> UTF-8 site?
This is ludicrous.
I can tell you right off that the costs to Tabemo for dealing with
several different character encodings would pay that guy's phone bills
for the rest of his life, and several other peoples', too.
You are focusing on one, stupid, small case where using different
software from the rest of the world offers a very small benefit to a
very small group of people, and are ignoring the costs that that imposes
on the world as a whole.
To this day I still spend time helping Japanese people trying to
exchange e-mail with each other that are running into encoding problems.
You explain to the secretary why she can't even consistently send an
e-mail to another Japanese user: "Oh, you may have saved several tens of
yen on your telephone bill this month, if you even use a phone to access
the Internet. And of course, you didn't pay for the 3000 yen in tech.
time to deal with that mail cock-up; you just had to stay for an extra
15 minutes after work."
If we considered just Japan alone, and discounted any interactions with
the outside world, completely dropping EUC-JP, Shift-JIS and ISO-2022-JP
in favour of Unicode would
* offer better support for the Japanese langauge, and
* noticably reduce support costs.
Whether you want to settle on just one encoding, offer all of UCS-2,
UTF-16, UTF-8, UTF-7, SCSU, Huffman encoding, and Burrows-Wheeler based
on whichever combination is best for the circumstances, or something in
between these two, I'll leave you to decide. But any one of these would
be, overall, a net benefit to Japanese IT and the users of Japanese IT
for Japanese purposes alone. The world interoperatibility benefit would
be a huge bonus tacked on to that.
This is my last word on the subject.
Curt Sampson <cjs_at_cynic.net> +81 90 7737 2974
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Received on Fri Jan 13 10:25:00 2006