Re: UTF-7 is dead

From: Mark H. David (
Date: Tue May 25 1999 - 19:25:39 EDT

At 04:49 PM 5/25/99 -0500, Pete Resnick wrote:
>On 5/25/99 at 11:08 AM -0700, Mark H. David wrote:
>>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).
>a) Most environments are now 8-bit safe, and more are moving that way

Most but not all. Perfectly working systems are in place that are
not 8-bit safe. My ISP - - has 25,000 + customers
in Boston, and don't forsee fixing their non-8-bit safe mail system
any time in the near future. Why should they? It's standard,
and it works.

>all of the time. There's no need to waste the space on UTF-7 when
>UTF-8 will do.

I don't get it. It won't do.

>b) In those cases where only 7-bit is available, UTF-8 (which is a
>charset, not an encoding) can itself be encoded as quoted-printable
>or base64. Though this bloats the size of the message somewhat, the
>number of cases where it is necessary are getting smaller and smaller
>over time.

A poor other choice at best. Why go to such effort to decommission
a standard that makes systems work better, especially for Unicode,

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