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UTF-8 recommendation [Was: a few problems in O-charset-lang.html]

From: KUROSAKA Teruhiko <kuro@bhlab.com>
Date: Sun, 01 Aug 2004 09:41:29 -0700
Message-ID: <410D1D39.1080909@bhlab.com>
To: Tex Texin <tex@i18nguy.com>, www-international@w3.org
Cc: kuro@sonic.net, public-i18n-geo@w3.org

I'd be a little bit careful about recommending UTF-8 as
THE encoding of choice.

I started worried about this through my recent (as recent
as yesterday) experience with email user agents.  I sent
out UTF-8 email with Japanese contents, both in header (subject)
and the body,  to a mailing list that I manage having about
40 members.  5 people reported character corruption in
all or part of the contents and they could not read it.
I also noticed that mailing list management GUI does not
display the UTF-8/MIME encoded subject properly.
This is a mailing list service of one of the major search engine
companies, not a start-up company that might not have money
to invest.  From this experiment, I have to sadly conclude
that UTF-8 is not for prime time use as an e-mail encoding.

While this experience is about the e-mail encoding and it
does not directly apply to the web page encoding, I'd be
extra careful making an official recommendation.
There may be web browsers out there that don't support
UTF-8 but are used widely.  I know all major desktop browsers
do support UTF-8 but some mobile phone browser may not be
supporting UTF-8.  We should make a research first before
making a recommendation, I feel.

KUROSAKA ("Kuro") Teruhiko, San Francisco, California, USA
Internationalization Consultant
Received on Sunday, 1 August 2004 12:41:33 UTC

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