Ambiguity in the English name UTF - Universal transformation format

From: Alain LaBont\i SCT (
Date: Tue Sep 02 1997 - 11:02:23 EDT

A 14:41 97-09-01 -0700, Misha Wolf a écrit :
>Ed Hart responded privately but I trust he won't object to my forwarding his
>> From amendment 2: UCS Transformation format 8 (UTF-8)
>> I'll see you on Wednesday afternoon.
>> Best regards,
>> Ed
>> ----------
>> From: Misha Wolf []
>> Sent: 01 September, 1997 17:11
>> To: Multiple Recipients of
>> Subject: Re: Charset policy - Post Munich
>> [I'm copying this mail to the unicode list. If any Unicoder responds,
>> please copy your response to (]
>> A couple of minor comments:
>> > (Note: ISO 10646 calls the UTF-8 CES a "Transfer Format" rather
>> > than a "character encoding scheme", but it fits the charset report
>> > definition of a character encoding scheme).
>> As I'm on the road (actually at the Eleventh International Unicode
>> Conference), I don't have access to the ISO 10646 amendments. I think
>> that ISO 10646 calls UTF-8 a "Transformation Format", not a "Transfer
>> Format". Can anyone check this? RFC 2130 contains many incorrect
>> definitions including those of ASCII (!) and of UTF; please let's not
>> add to them.

[Alain] :

There was an issue with translating the name "Universal Transformation
Format" into French. This is so ambiguous a name that we had to change it
in French. The British editor of the English version of the Universal
Character Set standard agreed that this was indeed a very bad phrasing in
English too (in French it is worse, to render the ambiguity, we would need
to twist our brains for a month).

In French we decided rather to call it the equivalent of "universal
transformed format". English won't be changed as it is too known now.

Alain LaBonté

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