Several people on this list seem to want to use UTF-2 to encode 10646
in email. This is quite understandable, since UTF-2 seems to be
gaining popularity as a *file* encoding, especially (only?) among Unix
My MU proposal was designed to get around the 8-bit problem that UTF-2
suffers. However, there *are* situations where 8-bit email (and/or
netnews) can be used (e.g. by using the SMTP extensions).
So perhaps the MU proposal would be more palatable to the UTF-2 people
if I added that UTF-2 could be used on 8-bit paths, and that UTF-2
could be converted to MU when a mail message bumps into an MTA that
does not support 8-bit.
The 8-bit SMTP extension allows such conversions, as long as the
result is valid MIME.
I.e. you convert from
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-2
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=mu
This actually brings up another issue, which I will cover in a
As I write all this stuff about MU, however, all sorts of other
questions linger in the back of my mind. For example:
"10646, UTF-2 and MU may be solutions, but what is the problem?"
"Who wants to use 10646 or Unicode in email anyway, and why?"