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Re: UTF-16BL/LE,... (was: Re: I18N issues with the XML Specification

From: Paul Hoffman / IMC <phoffman@imc.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2000 14:30:22 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>, John Cowan <cowan@locke.ccil.org>
Cc: duerst@w3.org, w3c-i18n-ig@w3.org, xml-editor@w3.org, w3c-xml-core-wg@w3.org
At 01:55 PM 4/12/00 -0700, Tim Bray wrote:
>At 04:59 PM 4/12/00 -0400, John Cowan wrote:
> >> For the record, and this will come as no surprise, I totally oppose this
> >> change, because I do *not* think 16LE and 16BE are appropriate for use 
> with
> >> XML, as they fly in the face of XML's orientation towards interoperability
> >> across heterogeneous systems.  I think XML entities encoded in any flavor
> >> of UTF-16 should always have a BOM; exactly what the current spec 
> [correctly
> >> IMHO] says.
> >
> >For the record, that's not what the Rec says: it speaks of "UTF-16", not
> >"any flavor of UTF-16".
>When the spec was written, the -LE and -BE variants didn't exist.  Thus
>the question of whether what the spec says about UTF-16 should be considered
>to apply to those variants as well is a reasonable one to debate.  I think
>it should, for reasons that you've all heard enough times now. -Tim

As co-author of the RFC 2781, I think that anything that says "any flavor 
or UTF-16" is technically incorrect. The RFC very specifically separates 
the definition of UTF-16 (section 2, which is a restatement of ISO 10646 
and Unicode) from the labels "UTF-16" "UTF-16BE" and "UTF-16LE". Each 
labelled type stands on its own and has a separate defintion.

--Paul Hoffman, Director
--Internet Mail Consortium
Received on Wednesday, 12 April 2000 17:29:56 UTC

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