Rob Harper harper at
Sun Nov 17 10:53:38 EST 1991

In <199111170408.AA17447 at Menudo.UH.EDU> Davison at UH.EDU (Dan Davison) writes:

*>Now, Fote, Rob, Rainer, Don, Dave, any ideas of how to test this
*>electronically? I could get a disk from Fote with the suspect files, I
*>suppose. I would really like to track this down.

	There are other ways of encoding files "atob" has been tried
	but I have heard that it gags on certain systems. The RED
	TRICKLE servers use both UUE and UXX encoding. I have used both 
	and they have not given any trouble. Indeed the UXX code is highly
	recommended for transfering files to the UK. With UXX there are
	no obscure characters used like tilde or carat that get trashed
	at gateways. The trouble is that we have "educated" biologists
	to use the standard "EMBL-UUE" tools, and any new coding system
	might be difficult to introduce.

	I could easily see people trying to use UUE to decode UXX files
	and then complaining when things did not work.

	As a small experiment I sent a UXX file to Fotes, and did not give
	him a hint as to what it was, and did not provide him with any tools
	to decode the file with. I was surprised that within a couple of days
	he had cracked it, starting from scratch. I expect he cracked it
	since he was interested in the subject, but I wonder how many other
	scientists would go to the trouble of hunting done the tools to get
	the job done.

	Rainer has done some good work to produce a decoder that works very
	well over the network, and since it is the "standard" I think we
	should stick with that. However in the MSDOS world Richard Marks
	has a very nice decoder that will do either UUE or UXX.

	I think I have the source code for UXX on a VAX, and I have 
	promised to send it Fotes... if he as the time and the energy
	then perhaps he could incorporate it into the EMBL.src to make
	both options available.  

Rob "don't mess with a winning team" Harper.

   Rob Harper                     /   E-mail:          Harper at    
   Finnish State Computer Centre  /   Molbio/software: Harper at
   P.O. Box 40, SF-02101 Espoo    /   Telephone:       +358 0 457 2076
   Finland                        /   Fax:             +358 0 457 2302

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