Re: UTF-8 and browsers

From: Trond Trosterud (
Date: Fri Oct 30 1998 - 04:20:33 EST

>> The new Netscape 4.06 has UTF-8 and UTF-7 encodings as two of their
>> encoding options. [...] So, what is this supposed to be?
>> - A fanfare for the future, when the OS turn 32 bit?
>> - A way of evoking sets of 8-bit code tables, each representing a small
>> part of the UCS (such sets exist)
>You might wish to read Appendix A of the Unicode standard, in which these
> Rick

Thank you for the advice, but I already did. Accidentally, (a draft to)
that Appendix was the very first document I recieved from the Norwegian
stadardisation body 3 years ago, and I read it thoroughly. I am e.g. able
to convert UCS to UTF-8 by hand (pencil-and-paper). This skill still is all
too slow when I try to cope with the UTF-8 option in NS 4.06.

I have got two answers to my posting, and hunted the NS support team for
answers, but no one even sees the problem of how to cope wit 16 bits for an
OS (like mac 7.x and 8.x) that only offers its character sets 8 bits at a
time. The series of 8-bit blocks make sense to me when seen as a means of
packing (and unpacking) for transportation, if there is a 32-bit universe
waiting in the other end. But now there isn´t.

The answer may be so obvious that no one cares to give it ("yes, it is
impossible to use utf-8 for 8-bit-systems, it was just put there for future
use" or vice versa: "yes, there is a way of defining a set of 8-bit-tables
corresponding to UCS eencoding to the browser"). Please give it anyway.
Netscape does not know the answer, and so far, this list has not (shown
that it has) understood the question.

Any answer will be appreciated.


I know already that the OS-es themselves are 32 bits. But I also know that
they only give me 8 bits at a time when it comes to character-glyph sets
(e.g. my mac 7.x and 8.x, hwere I use the NS 4.06, the exception so far
being W-NT, but this too is all-too-well kept as a secret, glyphs are not
provided, etc.) . Thus, only 256 at a time, today I use the UCS in my
linguistic writing by changing between the different "fonts" (8-bit code
tables of Everson Mono, each corresponding to a block in the BMP). Can NS
4.06 match that, do they have other means, or what?

Trond Trosterud t +47 7764 4763
Lingvistisk institutt, Det humanistiske fakultet h +47 7767 3639
N-9037 Universitetet i Tromsø, Noreg f +47 7764 4239

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