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Re: smtpmail and ~/.authinfo

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: smtpmail and ~/.authinfo
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2011 21:33:37 +0900

Ted Zlatanov writes:

 > UTF-8 is an encoding; you're talking about charsets.

No, I'm talking about encodings.  I'm not entirely sure about GB 2312,
but I believe it has a defined preferred encoding (the one registered
as the MIME charset GB2312 -- MIME charsets are all encodings, they
specify what *bytes* will appear in the stream, not just an abstract
character to abstract integer mapping).  Shift JIS is most definitely
an encoding for the JIS character set (although which JIS character
set is poorly defined).

 > Can you explain more precisely what you mean by "not UTF-8-ey in
 > several ways"?

In the case of Shift JIS, I already did: octets in the ASCII range are
used in multibyte characters.  That *never* happens in valid UTF-8.
The distinctions for GB2312 are more nebulous.  But Lars meant
something different, so it's not relevent.

 > Would it be enough to let the user override that coding system choice
 > through a defcustom?

No.  That requires a huge amount of user sophistication, and is too
global; different applications might very well use different coding
systems for non-ASCII characters.

 > For all the use cases I have seen, UTF-8 is enough, so I'd rather
 > use it by default.

Isn't that what I said?

 > SJT> If you already have a password, it should be read verbatim (binary, or
 > SJT> raw-text should do given the line-oriented nature of these
 > SJT> configuration files) and treated as a binary blob.
 > That's not helpful when you need to encode it for IMAP, for instance.
 > You have to know the actual characters that make up the binary blob.

Since when?  I haven't paid much attention to IMAP since RFC 3501 was
an internet-draft, but in that document there are a few commands that
accept a CHARSET parameter.  LOGIN and AUTHENTICATE aren't among them.
So you're just passing along binary blobs, which in the case of LOGIN
will often look like somebody's birthday or a child's name, but that's
just an unfortunate accident.

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