Re: Last Call: UTF-16, an encoding of ISO 10646 to Informational

From: John Cowan (
Date: Mon Aug 16 1999 - 12:15:36 EDT

Frank da Cruz wrote:

> If MIME is an interchange standard, then yes, it would be wrong. What is
> the point of codifying the internal storage format of different computer
> architectures in an interchange standard?

MIME's design wrt character sets reflects the "just-send-8-bits" chaos
that prevailed before it. MIME is a "meta-interchange standard"
from the charset viewpoint: it allows easy registration of character
sets, and emphasizes proper labeling rather than the use of a minimal
number of charsets.

This is important because of considerations of repertoire. Since
CP1252 has a larger repertoire than 8859-1, representing it using
only fully standardized 8-bit charsets would require a far clunkier
ISO 2022 solution. Instead, proper labeling means that those
who understand CP1252 can directly use its complete repertoire.

This is quite orthogonal to the point about UTF-16.

	John Cowan
Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis um dies! / Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau,
Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau / Und trank die Milch vom Paradies.
			-- Coleridge / Politzer

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:51 EDT