[rfc-i] [IAB Trac] #269: Discussion of UTF-8 in RFCs (Section 3.3)

Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) rse at rfc-editor.org
Wed Feb 27 09:39:34 PST 2013

On 2/26/13 11:52 PM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> Heather,
> A test case if I may. Is this normative or informative use of UTF-8?
> "UTF-8 strings MUST be allowed (for example, 'smörgåsbord')."
> The first half is clearly normative but the second half, IMHO, isn't.
> I'm not trying to be clever here; I am genuinely unsure what your
> text means to me as an author or reviewer.
This is the same type of judgement call made on a regular basis when it
comes to deciding things like references.  I expect most cases will be
obvious, and edge cases will need to be discussed, exactly as they are


>    Brian
> On 26/02/2013 23:54, IAB issue tracker wrote:
>> #269: Discussion of UTF-8 in RFCs (Section 3.3)
>> Comment (by hlflanagan at gmail.com):
>>  I have revised the introductory text to section 3.3 to state:
>>  Some of the original requirements will be removed from consideration, but
>>  detailed rules regarding how these changes will be implemented will be
>>  documented in a future RFC.
>>  While I am leaving the retirement of ASCII as stated in section 3.3
>>  ("Limitation to 100% ASCII text ("The character codes are ASCII.")") I
>>  have also revised the text introducing UTF-8 as allowable in Section 3.2
>>  to be a bit more clear.
>>  New Section 3.2 text:
>>  The official language of the RFC Series is English.  ASCII is required for
>>  all "normative" text, i.e., text that must be read to understand or
>>  implement the technology described in the RFC.  UTF-8/Unicode text will be
>>  allowed for Author names and addresses and non-normative text within an
>>  RFC.  Author names and addresses will require an ASCII equivalent for
>>  indexing purposes.

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