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

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Tue Aug 17 1999 - 15:39:08 EDT

frank wrote:

> Juliusz Chroboczek <> wrote:
> >
> > (To clarify: I do not have any preference for one canonical order over
> > the other. Just pick one and stick to it consistently.)
> >
> There is a good authority on which one to pick:
> ISO/IEC 10646-1 : 1993 (E), Paragraph 6.3:
> "The sequence of the octets that represent a character, and the most
> significant and least significant ends of it, shall be maintained as shown
> above [in Section 6.2, illustrating Big Endian byte organization]. When
> serialised as octets, a more significant octet shall precede less significant
> octets."

Conveniently neglecting the very next sentence of clause 6.3, which

"When not serialized as octets, the order of octets may be specified
by arrangement between sender and recipient (see 16.1 and annex H)."

Where the specification of labels UTF-16BE and UTF-16LE (and UTF-16,
using FEFF as a signature, as specified in annex H of 10646) is
all about having labels we can all agree on, so that such arrangements
between sender and recipient can be made in an open and reliable


> - Frank

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