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

From: Frank da Cruz (
Date: Mon Aug 16 1999 - 12:54:33 EDT

John Cowan wrote:
> 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.
And those who can't receive incomprehensible gibberish, or worse.
The ISO prohibition on graphic characters in the C1 range is not a
mindless caprice. It is there for all sorts of reasons. For example,
if you try to use a PC or Apple code page in data communications, it
tends to jam the machinery.

In any case, this approach punishes those who adhere to standards and
rewards those who violate them. Which makes the standards process
irrelevant. We should care about this because Unicode is a standard

> This is quite orthogonal to the point about UTF-16.
Agreed -- we are way off on a tangent and should stop, as Patrik

- Frank

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