Re: UTF-7 is dead

From: Mark H. David (
Date: Tue May 25 1999 - 13:55:09 EDT

Why is UTF-7 dead? It is the only encoding of Unicode that is mail-safe in all environments. And therefore it is is the only encoding possible for many, many languages (because many languages can only be interchanged with Unicode).

Finally, Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0 implements UTF-7 very well. Ever heard of it?

At 9:54 AM -0700 5/25/99, Markus Kuhn wrote:
>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 <>, 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, WWW: <>

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