Internet Mail Consortium report IMCR-010 and Plane 14

From: John Cowan (
Date: Mon Nov 23 1998 - 15:25:57 EST

The Internet Mail Consortium describes itself (at
as an industry consortium "focused on cooperatively managing and
promoting the rapidly-expanding world of electronic mail on the
Internet." Members are listed at
and include AOL, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Netscape, Qualcomm,
and Sun Microsystems.

IMC has released a report (
called "Using International Characters in Internet Mail"; the
current version is 1 August 1998 and is labeled IMCR-010.
(Like RFCs, IMCRs are replaced by other IMCRs, but a given number
identifies a given version forever.)

Most of the i18n information here is IMHO very useful and timely.
Unfortunately, it is a "Recommendation" of the report that
multi-language mail bodies encoded in UTF-8 be tagged with
Plane 14 characters. UTR#7 is cited on all fours with the
HTML 4.0, ISO 639, ISO 2022, ISO 3166, ISO/IEC 8859, ISO/IEC 10646,
and MIME and SMTP RFC standards.

This is a Bad Thing. Plane 14 is not part of the Unicode Standard
yet, still less part of 10646, and was invented for specific
purposes, not for general-purpose labeling of plain text email.
(How must I tag my signature? LANGUAGE TAG, LATIN CAPITAL LETTER X TAG,

Loyal daughters and sons of Sarasvati may wish to write
to in protest, or (if attached to
member companies) to protest through their IMC liaison.

John Cowan
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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