This is a response to the proposed Internet Draft recently posted to the
ietf-822 mailing list, entitled "MIME charset names for ISO 10646".
I am the convener of the ISO working group (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2) that
developed the 10646 standard and continues to work on it right now. We have
worked with many other standards groups who are in the process of incorporating
10646 as a supported character set and we are interested to work with other
organizations, such as yours, to help you in being compliant with 10646 and
interoperating with other standards that are or will be compliant with 10646.
There are several concerns about the proposal as submitted in the INTERNET
DRAFT by Ohta-san which we would like to bring to your attention.
First, we believe that the characterization of ISO/IEC 10646-1 as needing
external profiling for practical use is incorrect. There are several
companies who have implemented or are in the process of implementing 10646
without the need for additional profiling.
Second, Ohta-san's views are his own and do not represent those of the
Japanese committee (JSC2) that represents Japan at JTC1/SC2/WG2. The best way
for anyone to work to improve 10646 is to work within the standards process,
by bringing their concerns to JSC2 in the case of Japan or the appropriate
national body for other countries. Standards processes exist to achieve
consensus in the face of conflicting technical opinion, a process that was
followed in the case of 10646. All countries whose writing systems are covered
by 10646 were represented in the process, including Japan, the Arab countries,
Finally, the name ISO 10646 should not be used to represent a subset of the
ISO 10646 standard, unless it is one of the subsets explicitly set forth in
the body of the standard. Therefore, the proposal should not use charset names
based on the name ISO 10646 since they are in fact such subsets. Such subsets
are, by definition, not in compliance with ISO/IEC 10646 and may not use its
name. The proposed subset names have not been proposed and thus not approved by
the ISO technical working group. In addition, they are misleading and can
cause confusion amongst a variety of implementors. Naming of subsets must be
proposed first then reviewed and finally approved and published by JTC1/SC2/WG2.
The ISO technical working group (JTC1/SC2/WG2) is very much interested in
seeing use of ISO/IEC 10646 on the Internet, and we hope through a
constructive dialog to establish the best way of doing so.
Our next working group meeting is being held in Turkey during the week of
April 18. The next one after that is in early October in the San Francisco
Bay Area. I propose that a representative from your organization join our
next meeting in Turkey or the one after that in the Bay Area as member of a
national body delegation. If such proposal is not accepted then I would
recommend that an observer from your organization would attend and participate
in one of our next meetings. In either case, I will be more than happy to
send you logistics details of our next meeting in Turkey.
I look forward to a good working relationship with your group.
email address: ksar(_at_)hpcea(_dot_)ce(_dot_)hp(_dot_)com
Postal address: Hewlett-Packard Company
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Palo Alto, CA 94304
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