RE: DEC multilingual code page, ISO 8859-1, etc.

From: Chris Pratley (
Date: Wed Mar 29 2000 - 16:40:12 EST


-----Original Message-----
From: Erik van der Poel []
Sent: March 28, 2000 10:53 AM
To: Chris Pratley
Cc: Unicode List
Subject: Re: DEC multilingual code page, ISO 8859-1, etc.

Chris Pratley wrote:
> (in some countries that do not use ASCII characters, it
> would be a complete cut-off: the entire mail would be unreadable, not just
> the punctuation).

I'm just curious, but do you have any examples of such countries?
>>>Well, Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Arabic regions, etc. If the recipient
does not have a Unicode-capable mail reader the content in the native
languages in those regions is entirely lost if the sender used Unicode. So
it is not so easy to start defaulting to Unicode and damn the torpedoes.

> Not many people know that IE5 and Office2000 send URLs in UTF-8 by
> default.

I don't know about Office2000 and MacIE5, but I believe WinIE5 only
sends the part *before* the question mark '?' in UTF-8 by default (for
URLs that contain a query part). The last part (form submission) is sent
in whatever encoding was chosen for that (usually, the same charset as
the form itself).

> We got significant complaints in Korea and Taiwan
> where there were apparently a significant number of ISPs supporting local
> characters in URLs by assuming the local encoding (KSC-5601or Big5) so we
> had to turn UTF-8 off by default there, but in most other areas it went
> over alright.

I find it quite interesting that you only had to turn it off for Korea
and Taiwan. I wouldn't have been surprised if you had to turn it off for
a bunch of other countries, such as Japan, etc. Thanks for doing the
>>>We also thought Japan would cause more of a stink, but it seems Japanese
URLs (before the "?") are not yet common on the internet, although perhaps
more common in intranets.


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