[b-hebrew] Hebrew in messages

Kirk Lowery klowery at whi.wts.edu
Sun Jul 10 11:52:41 EDT 2005

Christopher V. Kimball wrote:

> Why don't we upgrade the mail server to handle UTF-8 and HTML
> messages? Is it solely for the benefit of readers limited to
> text-only mail applications?  Or is there a cost of upgrading the
> mail server?

The list server is completely out of our control. It is run by
ibiblio.org and b-hebrew -- among many other lists -- is a free service
provided by them.

And the server handles UTF-8 plain text just fine right now. The problem
is, as has been well demonstrated here, that UTF-8 is not handled
consistently by all the various operating systems and email clients used
by our list members. Other encoding systems are used, along with HTML

The server will handle HTML messages just fine, as well. But as long as
javascript (and attachments) are the superhighway for worms and virii,
html and attachments will be stripped. b-hebrew shall not become a
source of those.

Plain text is the lowest common denominator for email clients, true. But
plain text is *also* the safest form of communication as well.

It will be a few more years yet before the lowest common denominator
rises to the point where we can assume correct handling of Unicode
Hebrew by 90% of the membership's software and operating systems.


B-Hebrew co-chair
Kirk E. Lowery, PhD
Director, Westminster Hebrew Institute
Adjunct Professor of Old Testament
Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia
"Good boy, Dex!"
  -- Joseph "Sky Captain" Sullivan

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