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Re: smtpmail and ~/.authinfo

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: smtpmail and ~/.authinfo
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2011 10:41:09 +0900

Ted Zlatanov writes:

 > I appreciate all the details and corrections; I thought UTF-8 was
 > better and more widely useful than it really is.

Please hang on to that impression.  UTF-8 really is the best thing
since sliced bread (but also like sliced bread you still need to drink
milk and eat fruit to get all essential vitamins).  Although in many
localizations, Windows defaults to something other than UTF-8 (AFAIK)
for most text operations (including file system access etc), most
Windows text applications do fine with UTF-8.  What UTF-8 is not
(yet), is backward compatible with legacy systems -- a lot of people
have not yet converted from 60s- and 70s-era encodings to Unicode,
even where that is almost trivial even for non-techies.

IOW, your general impression is correct: UTF-8 is now an appropriate
(ie, "usable") *system* default even on Windows (not that text files
are in great vogue on Windows, except for program sources).  Please
don't hesitate to advocate it in that role.  However, by default in a
portable *application* that needs to deal with both variation *among*
platforms and local customization within any given platform, Emacs
needs to ask the system what its default is (or in some cases we can
be a little more fine-grained, but POSIX localization isn't very
useful in that direction).

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