UTF-7 is dead

From: Markus Kuhn (Markus.Kuhn@cl.cam.ac.uk)
Date: Tue May 25 1999 - 12:59:30 EDT

John Wilcock wrote on 1999-05-25 14:33 UTC:
> Various RFCs mention the MIME charset name "unicode-1-1-utf7", though
> semantically this refers to v1.1 of the Unicode standard.
> What is the correct MIME charset parameter to use for an UTF-7-encoded
> message? "unicode-1-1-utf7" or just "utf-7"?

Nobody seems to have ever really used UTF-7. So there was no need to fix
the reference to Unicode 1.1. You should see UTF-7 as an experimental
encoding only. The world has pretty much decided to use UTF-8 and UCS-2/
UTF-16 instead. UTF-7 is as obsolete as Unicode 1.1. UTF-8 is now well
established as a commonly used encoding for MIME and is formally
preferred in <http://www.imc.org/mail-i18n.html>, which summarizes the
situation accurately as follows: "Fortunately, very few vendors
implemented UTF-7, and its use is strongly discouraged in Internet


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
Email: mkuhn at acm.org,  WWW: <http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/>

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