Communicator Unicode

From: Adrian Havill (
Date: Thu Sep 11 1997 - 21:34:25 EDT

I have a few questions about Netscape Communicator's implementation of
Unicode which I was hoping someone could clarify:

1) The Navigator client (well, the Solaris SPARC 4.02 version is the one
I'm most familiar with) includes the folloiwng header in it's doc
request to a HTTP server:

Accept-Charset: iso-8859-1, *, utf-8

Question: Why's the UTF-8 -after- the asterick? (In the regular "Accept"
field, the "*/*" is always last) Is there any way to change the order of
these entries? Is this line consistent on all versions of Navigator 4?
This is more of a HTTP than a Unicode question, but I was wondering if
it being last in the list (and after the *) implied that it was the
least preferred character encoding.

2) Navigator seems to accept both UNICODE-1-1-UTF-8 and UTF-8 for the
"charset" parameter in the Content-Type. It doesn't like
"UNICODE-2-0-UTF-8" though. Does this mean that 2.0 is not supported?

3) Does it support Unicode (UTF-7 and/or UTF-8) in vCards? Mail headers?

4) The UTF-8 RFC says "UTF-8" is the "charset" for the MIME, but I see
"UNICODE-1-1-UTF-7" and "UNICODE-1-1-UTF-8" all over the net for the
MIME type. Are they both ok? Which is preferred? Which is depreciated?
Does it follow that I can use "UTF-7" as the MIME type instead of
UNICODE-1-1-UTF-7? Which is preferred? I see "UNICODE-1-1-UTF-7" often
in <URL:news:alt.chinese.text>, so it's seems to be becoming a
unofficial standard.

While I know the answers to 2 and 3 in the case of Solaris/Win/Mac, I
was wondering if this was the case for ALL versions of Navigator, and
whether this was to change in the future.

Adrian Havill <URL:>
Engineering Division, System Planning & Production Section

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