Re: Using UTF-8 for non-ASCII Characters in URLs

Martin J. Duerst (
Mon, 5 May 1997 12:12:27 +0200 (MET DST)

Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 12:12:27 +0200 (MET DST)
From: "Martin J. Duerst" <>
To: Edward Cherlin <>
Subject: Re: Using UTF-8 for non-ASCII Characters in URLs
In-Reply-To: <v0300783faf8f314b10e6@[]>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.96.970505115640.245B-100000@enoshima>

Hello Edward,

Thanks for the corrections and additions to the draft.
In some cases, I just had some "???" where I didn't yet
have time to look things up or write them out. I didn't
mean that other would have to complete it.

On Thu, 1 May 1997, Edward Cherlin wrote:

> That could be taken to apply to math and APL characters, which would be
> unfortunate. There are strong reasons for allowing math and APL expressions
> in identifiers for math and APL pages. I published a book, "The
> Encyclopedia of APL" which was indexed in APL as well as in English names
> of APL symbols, functions, and operators. It would have been a useful Web
> site.

I can see the point in the case of APL, which is a computer-based,
alphabet-like collection with a well-established and accessible
keyboard mapping very familliar to the respective community.

I don't see that much of a point for math in general, because the
codepoints available in Unicode often leave questions about what
exactly it has to look and to mean, so that consistent transcription
is not at all guaranteed.

Also, in the above APL example, the APL characters would probably
appear later down the path hierarchy, and would not be that important
as entry points.

> All codepoints can be entered from standard keyboards. There are keyboards
> and other entry methods for almost all Unicode characters implemented in
> some software, and all can be used in keyboard layouts of standard form.

We don't want the average user of an URL to have to compose the URL
with complicated operations. That's a fallback for those cases where
nothing else is available, or may be okay for a single character, but
shouldn't be encouraged too much.

Regards,	Martin.