Re: Followup on I18N comments

Sandra Martin O'Donnell (
Fri, 2 Dec 1994 14:31:50 +0100

>Unicode (ISO 10646) as a transfer form rather than UTF-8. However,
>the major difference between your suggestion and our implementation
>is that we require support for Unicode as a transfer encoding
>but do *not* require that all transfers be done in Unicode. . .

Unless we define some method of negotiating character set encoding for
WWW, I think that the solution you outline above could not be
implemented, though given encoding negotiation, it obviously *is* of
great practical value.

Yes, encoding negotiation is what we have in DCE, and you're right
that such a method would be required for the Web as well.

Interestly enough, I spoke to 2 technical documentation
writer/translators who were vehemently against Unicode because it does
not support every possible character in the world...

Still, as a lowest common denominator, I think it will handle most
(90%) situations, and I think *that* by itself, is a big step forward.

I agree that Unicode/ISO 10646 is a good solution when one
needs support for a universal code set. It does cover most
characters in use on computers today. However, there are
many cases when there's no need for a universal code set,
and it's certainly valid for local users to ask for support
for their own code sets -- or at least a representative
sample of them.

There will never be a single code set that contains every
possible character in the world. Just as English keeps
inventing new words, Chinese, Japanese, and others keep
inventing new ideographs.

Sandra Martin O'Donnell email:
Open Software Foundation phone: +1 (617) 621-8707
11 Cambridge Center fax: +1 (617) 225-2782
Cambridge, MA 02142 USA