When text is encoded in a universal encoding scheme such as Unicode, it is difficult to identify which encoding is the most appropriate to use when sending the data to another system. Whichever encoding scheme is selected, it must provide sufficient coverage so as to encode all of the data without loss, and must be in a form that can be understood by the recipient.

Lotus Domino transmits E-mails on a variety of carriers (SMTP, POP3, X.400), and it also presents data as HTML to browsers. If these data contain text which include characters outside the ASCII range, a suitable encoding must be selected to preserve the integrity of the data.

This paper explains how Domino resolves this conundrum, using a set of table-driven API's to reduce the list of potential target character sets to one (or a few) favoured encodings. These API's are sufficiently generic so that their use is applicable in any situation where the export of universally-encoded data to some local platform-specific format is required.

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