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Re: Internationalization

On Fri, 4 May 2001, David Olivier wrote:
> The gecos field is defined in nis.schema with syntax:
> That's cute! But what does it mean?

It means, "the gecos field".  It's what is referred to as an Object
Identifier, which is a unique sequence of numbers that identifies some
semantic element.  The OID namespace is a tree, so it's possible to walk
down the branches labelled by those numbers between the dots, and
inevitably arrive at (in this case) the gecos field.

> I don't know where "" is formally defined, but
> in RFC2252 it is referred to as "IA5 String".

Strictly speaking, the *content* of a field named by this OID is to be
interpreted as an IA5 string.  "IA5 String" probably has its own OID, by
the way.

OIDs are defined in a distributed manner.  ISO owns the namespace, and
delegates pieces of it to various organizations.  Those organizations
define their own subspaces, and delegate pieces further....

> I don't know where "IA5" is formally defined, but I think I have caught on
> that it's another name for "plain ASCII".

That's a useful approximation.  It's International Alphabet 5, as defined
by someone (ISO?  CCITT?  I forget.)

Mark H. Wood, Lead System Programmer   mwood@IUPUI.Edu
Make a good day.