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Re: [xml-dev] RE: Encoding charset of HTTP Basic Authentication

It's a fascinating branch to the thread, but I must say I understand it *much* better now that Michael has mentioned he has recently been through the Gehenna of filling out a US Government procurement form ;) For my part, having wandered about between Nigeria, Europe and the U.S. during the years when I was an E.E. student learning about computing, I also don't see the matter as so black and white. I think xml-dev reveals a widespread nostalgia for an ostensibly better world (e.g. Len's mention of habeas corpus versus the Japanese-American internment or the suppression of militant Black Power, Hispanic and Native national movements) which was maybe never as good as we thought it once was. The evils of cross-border ignorance and the tendency of government to ride roughshod over civil rights is probably more overt rather than more pervasive these days. 

I'm younger than a few in this thread, but I to go back to the heart of it, I was a recent immigrant to the US, a transfer engineering student, around the time the URL/HTTP family of specs was emerging. We were taught about i10n in my University. I was also quickly onto the hobbyist scene, including a bunch of work with friends among Egyptian, Chinese, etc. fellow immigrant-students, and no one any of us encountered was ignorant of non-ASCII. Fellow shareware developers, mentoring lecturers, etc. just knew global language representation is a terribly hard problem, and they figured it makes engineering sense to leave off solving the hardest problems until there was absolutely no choice.

Most of the hobbyist UK space (my first computers were a ZX Spectrum purchased at Curry's and then an Amstrad PCW) were no more internationally aware. Sure big UK firms such as BP, where I did an internship in Nigeria, had heavyweight and frightfully complex internationalization, but no one short of a behemoth could afford that, and it's not behemoths who lead revolutions but nimble forces such as the masses of hobbyists who lit the fire in Silicon Valley. No one should be surprised that Microsoft was doing silly things with its encoding schemes, regardless of home country. And are we paying the price now? Eh! I think other matters folks have brought up illustrate that it's really not that big a deal. Sure I get frustrated too when every browser mangles/reports the reporting of a Web form differently according to the the way the page was coded up, but in the end I think xml-dev hosts the sort of people who shine under such petty frustrations.

On Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 3:10 AM, James Fuller <james.fuller.2007@gmail.com> wrote:
Also lets face it, doing business in Europe is difficult ... most
countries treat entrepreneurs terribly ... if Saxonica was in the
states you would get all lot more opportunity and benefits and more
chance for things like investment (which probably may not float your
boat, unsure).

Alas with that entrepreneurial support comes inexplicable nastiness such as cowboy banking and for example the LBO, which cancer is unfortunately well at work in the UK and in many other parts of the world these days.

as for the reasons why you get asked such questions ... I would try to
remind myself that these kind of laws were passed with a sense of
doing right in the world, well meaning but poorly executed.

Is that really a comfort? I suspect those behind the past decade's succession of laws stripping posse comitatus, habeas corpus, and upending the balance of copyright and patent protection in the US believe they are doing the right thing, but that is no iota of comfort to me. And alas, all of these deleterious moves in the US are echoed all over the world. Luckily, I think that no such authoritarian conditions are permanent. We have a very interesting decade ahead of us politically, all over the world.

And no less interesting in the technology of information representation and distribution. In fact, this technology is proving itself to be the overwhelming catalyst for political change.

Open Source continues to prove itself best for innovation (as well as
promoting sanity with developers) and I would say have a bit more
faith, the open source model is crawling the domain space for a
superior business model ... it eventually will discover something
better then 'advertising'.

Which is a good reminder that the '90s and millenium generation worldwide takes for granted such technology as a the battleground where the interests of huge institutions (companies seeking to game privacy, governments seeking to curtail liberty) meet the massed interests of individuals. They intuit/understand all this better than we do, and much better than we give them credit for, as plenty of research has shown.

Uche Ogbuji                       http://uche.ogbuji.net
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Founding Partner, Zepheira        http://zepheira.com
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