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Network Working Group                                          B. Curtin
Request for Comments: 2640            Defense Information Systems Agency
Updates: 959                                                   July 1999
Category: Proposed Standard

           Internationalization of the File Transfer Protocol

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.


   The File Transfer Protocol, as defined in RFC 959 [RFC959] and RFC
   1123 Section 4 [RFC1123], is one of the oldest and widely used
   protocols on the Internet. The protocol's primary character set, 7
   bit ASCII, has served the protocol well through the early growth
   years of the Internet. However, as the Internet becomes more global,
   there is a need to support character sets beyond 7 bit ASCII.

   This document addresses the internationalization (I18n) of FTP, which
   includes supporting the multiple character sets and languages found
   throughout the Internet community.  This is achieved by extending the
   FTP specification and giving recommendations for proper
   internationalization support.

Table of Contents

   1 INTRODUCTION.................................................2
    1.1 Requirements Terminology..................................2
   2 INTERNATIONALIZATION.........................................3
    2.1 International Character Set...............................3
    2.2 Transfer Encoding Set.....................................4
   3 PATHNAMES....................................................5
    3.1 General compliance........................................5
    3.2 Servers compliance........................................6
    3.3 Clients compliance........................................7
   4 LANGUAGE SUPPORT.............................................7

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    4.1 The LANG command..........................................8
    4.2 Syntax of the LANG command................................9
    4.3 Feat response for LANG command...........................11
     4.3.1 Feat examples.........................................11
   5 SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS.....................................12
   6 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.............................................12
   7 GLOSSARY....................................................13
   8 BIBLIOGRAPHY................................................13
   9 AUTHOR'S ADDRESS............................................15
    A.1 General Considerations...................................16
    A.2 Transition Considerations................................18
   ANNEX B - SAMPLE CODE AND EXAMPLES............................19
    B.1 Valid UTF-8 check........................................19
    B.2 Conversions..............................................20
     B.2.1 Conversion from Local Character Set to UTF-8..........20
     B.2.2 Conversion from UTF-8 to Local Character Set..........23
     B.2.3 ISO/IEC 8859-8 Example................................25
     B.2.4 Vendor Codepage Example...............................25
    B.3 Pseudo Code for Translating Servers......................26
   Full Copyright Statement......................................27

1 Introduction

   As the Internet grows throughout the world the requirement to support
   character sets outside of the ASCII [ASCII] / Latin-1 [ISO-8859]
   character set becomes ever more urgent.  For FTP, because of the
   large installed base, it is paramount that this is done without
   breaking existing clients and servers. This document addresses this
   need. In doing so it defines a solution which will still allow the
   installed base to interoperate with new clients and servers.

   This document enhances the capabilities of the File Transfer Protocol
   by removing the 7-bit restrictions on pathnames used in client
   commands and server responses, RECOMMENDs the use of a Universal
   Character Set (UCS) ISO/IEC 10646 [ISO-10646], RECOMMENDs a UCS
   transformation format (UTF) UTF-8 [UTF-8], and defines a new command
   for language negotiation.

   The recommendations made in this document are consistent with the
   recommendations expressed by the IETF policy related to character
   sets and languages as defined in RFC 2277 [RFC2277].

1.1.  Requirements Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14 [BCP14].

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2 Internationalization

   The File Transfer Protocol was developed when the predominate
   character sets were 7 bit ASCII and 8 bit EBCDIC. Today these
   character sets cannot support the wide range of characters needed by
   multinational systems. Given that there are a number of character
   sets in current use that provide more characters than 7-bit ASCII, it
   makes sense to decide on a convenient way to represent the union of
   those possibilities. To work globally either requires support of a
   number of character sets and to be able to convert between them, or
   the use of a single preferred character set. To assure global
   interoperability this document RECOMMENDS the latter approach and
   defines a single character set, in addition to NVT ASCII and EBCDIC,
   which is understandable by all systems. For FTP this character set
   SHALL be ISO/IEC 10646:1993.  For support of global compatibility it
   is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that clients and servers use UTF-8 encoding
   when exchanging pathnames.  Clients and servers are, however, under
   no obligation to perform any conversion on the contents of a file for
   operations such as STOR or RETR.

   The character set used to store files SHALL remain a local decision
   and MAY depend on the capability of local operating systems. Prior to
   the exchange of pathnames they SHOULD be converted into a ISO/IEC
   10646 format and UTF-8 encoded. This approach, while allowing
   international exchange of pathnames, will still allow backward
   compatibility with older systems because the code set positions for
   ASCII characters are identical to the one byte sequence in UTF-8.

   Sections 2.1 and 2.2 give a brief description of the international
   character set and transfer encoding RECOMMENDED by this document. A
   more thorough description of UTF-8, ISO/IEC 10646, and UNICODE
   [UNICODE], beyond that given in this document, can be found in RFC
   2279 [RFC2279].

2.1 International Character Set

   The character set defined for international support of FTP SHALL be
   the Universal Character Set as defined in ISO 10646:1993 as amended.
   This standard incorporates the character sets of many existing
   international, national, and corporate standards. ISO/IEC 10646
   defines two alternate forms of encoding, UCS-4 and UCS-2. UCS-4 is a
   four byte (31 bit) encoding containing 2**31 code positions divided
   into 128 groups of 256 planes. Each plane consists of 256 rows of 256
   cells. UCS-2 is a 2 byte (16 bit) character set consisting of plane
   zero or the Basic Multilingual Plane (BMP).  Currently, no codesets
   have been defined outside of the 2 byte BMP.

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   The Unicode standard version 2.0 [UNICODE] is consistent with the
   UCS-2 subset of ISO/IEC 10646. The Unicode standard version 2.0
   includes the repertoire of IS 10646 characters, amendments 1-7 of IS
   10646, and editorial and technical corrigenda.

2.2 Transfer Encoding

   UCS Transformation Format 8 (UTF-8), in the past referred to as UTF-2
   or UTF-FSS, SHALL be used as a transfer encoding to transmit the
   international character set. UTF-8 is a file safe encoding which
   avoids the use of byte values that have special significance during
   the parsing of pathname character strings. UTF-8 is an 8 bit encoding
   of the characters in the UCS. Some of UTF-8's benefits are that it is
   compatible with 7 bit ASCII, so it doesn't affect programs that give
   special meanings to various ASCII characters; it is immune to
   synchronization errors; its encoding rules allow for easy
   identification; and it has enough space to support a large number of
   character sets.

   UTF-8 encoding represents each UCS character as a sequence of 1 to 6
   bytes in length. For all sequences of one byte the most significant
   bit is ZERO. For all sequences of more than one byte the number of
   ONE bits in the first byte, starting from the most significant bit
   position, indicates the number of bytes in the UTF-8 sequence
   followed by a ZERO bit. For example, the first byte of a 3 byte UTF-8
   sequence would have 1110 as its most significant bits. Each
   additional bytes (continuing bytes) in the UTF-8 sequence, contain a
   ONE bit followed by a ZERO bit as their most significant bits. The
   remaining free bit positions in the continuing bytes are used to
   identify characters in the UCS. The relationship between UCS and
   UTF-8 is demonstrated in the following table:

   UCS-4 range(hex)          UTF-8 byte sequence(binary)
   00000000 - 0000007F       0xxxxxxx
   00000080 - 000007FF       110xxxxx 10xxxxxx
   00000800 - 0000FFFF       1110xxxx 10xxxxxx 10xxxxxx
   00010000 - 001FFFFF       11110xxx 10xxxxxx 10xxxxxx 10xxxxxx
   00200000 - 03FFFFFF       111110xx 10xxxxxx 10xxxxxx 10xxxxxx
   04000000 - 7FFFFFFF       1111110x 10xxxxxx 10xxxxxx 10xxxxxx
                             10xxxxxx 10xxxxxx

   A beneficial property of UTF-8 is that its single byte sequence is
   consistent with the ASCII character set. This feature will allow a
   transition where old ASCII-only clients can still interoperate with
   new servers that support the UTF-8 encoding.

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   Another feature is that the encoding rules make it very unlikely that
   a character sequence from a different character set will be mistaken
   for a UTF-8 encoded character sequence. Clients and servers can use a
   simple routine to determine if the character set being exchanged is
   valid UTF-8. Section B.1 shows a code example of this check.

3 Pathnames

3.1 General compliance

   - The 7-bit restriction for pathnames exchanged is dropped.

   - Many operating system allow the use of spaces <SP>, carriage return
     <CR>, and line feed <LF> characters as part of the pathname. The
     exchange of pathnames with these special command characters will
     cause the pathnames to be parsed improperly. This is because ftp
     commands associated with pathnames have the form:

      COMMAND <SP> <pathname> <CRLF>.

   To allow the exchange of pathnames containing these characters, the
   definition of pathname is changed from

     <pathname> ::= <string>   ; in BNF format
     pathname = 1*(%x01..%xFF) ; in ABNF format [ABNF].

   To avoid mistaking these characters within pathnames as special
   command characters the following rules will apply:

   There MUST be only one <SP> between a ftp command and the pathname.
   Implementations MUST assume <SP> characters following the initial
   <SP> as part of the pathname. For example the pathname in STOR
   <SP><SP><SP>foo.bar<CRLF> is <SP><SP>foo.bar.

   Current implementations, which may allow multiple <SP> characters as
   separators between the command and pathname, MUST assure that they
   comply with this single <SP> convention. Note: Implementations which
   treat 3 character commands (e.g. CWD, MKD, etc.) as a fixed 4
   character command by padding the command with a trailing <SP> are in
   non-compliance to this specification.

   When a <CR> character is encountered as part of a pathname it MUST be
   padded with a <NUL> character prior to sending the command. On
   receipt of a pathname containing a <CR><NUL> sequence the <NUL>
   character MUST be stripped away. This approach is described in the
   Telnet protocol [RFC854] on pages 11 and 12. For example, to store a
   pathname foo<CR><LF>boo.bar the pathname would become

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   foo<CR><NUL><LF>boo.bar prior to sending the command STOR
   <SP>foo<CR><NUL><LF>boo.bar<CRLF>. Upon receipt of the altered
   pathname the <NUL> character following the <CR> would be stripped
   away to form the original pathname.

   - Conforming clients and servers MUST support UTF-8 for the transfer
     and receipt of pathnames. Clients and servers MAY in addition give
     users a choice of specifying interpretation of pathnames in another
     encoding. Note that configuring clients and servers to use
     character sets / encoding other than UTF-8 is outside of the scope
     of this document. While it is recognized that in certain
     operational scenarios this may be desirable, this is left as a
     quality of implementation and operational issue.

   - Pathnames are sequences of bytes.  The encoding of names that are
     valid UTF-8 sequences is assumed to be UTF-8.  The character set of
     other names is undefined. Clients and servers, unless otherwise
     configured to support a specific native character set, MUST check
     for a valid UTF-8 byte sequence to determine if the pathname being
     presented is UTF-8.

   - To avoid data loss, clients and servers SHOULD use the UTF-8
     encoded pathnames when unable to convert them to a usable code set.

   - There may be cases when the code set / encoding presented to the
     server or client cannot be determined. In such cases the raw bytes
     SHOULD be used.

3.2 Servers compliance

   - Servers MUST support the UTF-8 feature in response to the FEAT
     command [RFC2389]. The UTF-8 feature is a line containing the exact
     string "UTF8". This string is not case sensitive, but SHOULD be
     transmitted in upper case. The response to a FEAT command SHOULD

        C> feat
        S> 211- <any descriptive text>
        S>  ...
        S>  UTF8
        S>  ...
        S> 211 end

   The ellipses indicate placeholders where other features may be
   included, but are NOT REQUIRED. The one space indentation of the
   feature lines is mandatory [RFC2389].

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   - Mirror servers may want to exactly reflect the site that they are
     mirroring. In such cases servers MAY store and present the exact
     pathname bytes that it received from the main server.

3.3 Clients compliance

   - Clients which do not require display of pathnames are under no
     obligation to do so. Non-display clients do not need to conform to
     requirements associated with display.

   - Clients, which are presented UTF-8 pathnames by the server, SHOULD
     parse UTF-8 correctly and attempt to display the pathname within
     the limitation of the resources available.

   - Clients MUST support the FEAT command and recognize the "UTF8"
     feature (defined in 3.2 above) to determine if a server supports
     UTF-8 encoding.

   - Character semantics of other names shall remain undefined. If a
     client detects that a server is non UTF-8, it SHOULD change its
     display appropriately. How a client implementation handles non
     UTF-8 is a quality of implementation issue. It MAY try to assume
     some other encoding, give the user a chance to try to assume
     something, or save encoding assumptions for a server from one FTP
     session to another.

   - Glyph rendering is outside the scope of this document. How a client
     presents characters it cannot display is a quality of
     implementation issue. This document RECOMMENDS that octets
     corresponding to non-displayable characters SHOULD be presented in
     URL %HH format defined in RFC 1738 [RFC1738]. They MAY, however,
     display them as question marks, with their UCS hexadecimal value,
     or in any other suitable fashion.

   - Many existing clients interpret 8-bit pathnames as being in the
     local character set. They MAY continue to do so for pathnames that
     are not valid UTF-8.

4. Language Support

   The Character Set Workshop Report [RFC2130] suggests that clients and
   servers SHOULD negotiate a language for "greetings" and "error
   messages". This specification interprets the use of the term  "error
   message", by RFC 2130, to mean any explanatory text string returned
   by server-PI in response to a user-PI command.

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   Implementers SHOULD note that FTP commands and numeric responses are
   protocol elements. As such, their use is not affected by any guidance
   expressed by this specification.

   Language support of greetings and command responses shall be the
   default language supported by the server or the language supported by
   the server and selected by the client.

   It may be possible to achieve language support through a virtual host
   as described in [MLST]. However, an FTP server might not support
   virtual servers, or virtual servers might be configured to support an
   environment without regard for language. To allow language
   negotiation this specification defines a new LANG command. Clients
   and servers that comply with this specification MUST support the LANG

4.1 The LANG command

   A new command "LANG" is added to the FTP command set to allow
   server-FTP process to determine in which language to present server
   greetings and the textual part of command responses. The parameter
   associated with the LANG command SHALL be one of the language tags
   defined in RFC 1766 [RFC1766]. If a LANG command without a parameter
   is issued the server's default language will be used.

   Greetings and responses issued prior to language negotiation SHALL be
   in the server's default language. Paragraph 4.5 of [RFC2277] state
   that this "default language MUST be understandable by an English-
   speaking person". This specification RECOMMENDS that the server
   default language be English encoded using ASCII. This text may be
   augmented by text from other languages. Once negotiated, server-PI
   MUST return server messages and textual part of command responses in
   the negotiated language and encoded in UTF-8. Server-PI MAY wish to
   re-send previously issued server messages in the newly negotiated

   The LANG command only affects presentation of greeting messages and
   explanatory text associated with command responses. No attempt should
   be made by the server to translate protocol elements (FTP commands
   and numeric responses) or data transmitted over the data connection.

   User-PI MAY issue the LANG command at any time during an FTP session.
   In order to gain the full benefit of this command, it SHOULD be
   presented prior to authentication. In general, it will be issued
   after the HOST command [MLST]. Note that the issuance of a HOST or

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   REIN command [RFC959] will negate the affect of the LANG command.
   User-PI SHOULD be capable of supporting UTF-8 encoding for the
   language negotiated. Guidance on interpretation and rendering of
   UTF-8, defined in section 3, SHALL apply.

   Although NOT REQUIRED by this specification, a user-PI SHOULD issue a
   FEAT command [RFC2389] prior to a LANG command. This will allow the
   user-PI to determine if the server supports the LANG command and
   which language options.

   In order to aid the server in identifying whether a connection has
   been established with a client which conforms to this specification
   or an older client, user-PI MUST send a HOST [MLST] and/or LANG
   command prior to issuing any other command (other than FEAT
   [RFC2389]). If user-PI issues a HOST command, and the server's
   default language is acceptable, it need not issue a LANG command.
   However, if the implementation does not support the HOST command, a
   LANG command MUST be issued. Until server-PI is presented with either
   a HOST or LANG command it SHOULD assume that the user-PI does not
   comply with this specification.

4.2 Syntax of the LANG command

   The LANG command is defined as follows:

   lang-command       = "Lang" [(SP lang-tag)] CRLF
   lang-tag           = Primary-tag *( "-" Sub-tag)
   Primary-tag        = 1*8ALPHA
   Sub-tag            = 1*8ALPHA

   lang-response      = lang-ok / error-response
   lang-ok            = "200" [SP *(%x00..%xFF) ] CRLF
   error-response     = command-unrecognized / bad-argument /
                     not-implemented / unsupported-parameter
   command-unrecognized  = "500" [SP *(%x01..%xFF) ] CRLF
   bad-argument       = "501" [SP *(%x01..%xFF) ] CRLF
   not-implemented    = "502" [SP *(%x01..%xFF) ] CRLF
   unsupported-parameter = "504" [SP *(%x01..%xFF) ] CRLF

   The "lang" command word is case independent and may be specified in
   any character case desired. Therefore "LANG", "lang", "Lang", and
   "lAnG" are equivalent commands.

   The OPTIONAL "Lang-tag" given as a parameter specifies the primary
   language tags and zero or more sub-tags as defined in [RFC1766]. As
   described in [RFC1766] language tags are treated as case insensitive.
   If omitted server-PI MUST use the server's default language.

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   Server-FTP responds to the "Lang" command with either "lang-ok" or
   "error-response". "lang-ok" MUST be sent if Server-FTP supports the
   "Lang" command and can support some form of the "lang-tag". Support
   SHOULD be as follows:

   - If server-FTP receives "Lang" with no parameters it SHOULD return
     messages and command responses in the server default language.

   - If server-FTP receives "Lang" with only a primary tag argument
     (e.g. en, fr, de, ja, zh, etc.), which it can support, it SHOULD
     return messages and command responses in the language associated
     with that primary tag. It is possible that server-FTP will only
     support the primary tag when combined with a sub-tag (e.g. en-US,
     en-UK, etc.). In such cases, server-FTP MAY determine the
     appropriate variant to use during the session. How server-FTP makes
     that determination is outside the scope of this specification. If
     server-FTP cannot determine if a sub-tag variant is appropriate it
     SHOULD return an "unsupported-parameter" (504) response.

   - If server-FTP receives "Lang" with a primary tag and sub-tag(s)
     argument, which is implemented, it SHOULD return messages and
     command responses in support of the language argument. It is
     possible that server-FTP can support the primary tag of the "Lang"
     argument but not the sub-tag(s). In such cases server-FTP MAY
     return messages and command responses in the most appropriate
     variant of the primary tag that has been implemented. How server-
     FTP makes that determination is outside the scope of this
     specification. If server-FTP cannot determine if a sub-tag variant
     is appropriate it SHOULD return an "unsupported-parameter" (504)

   For example if client-FTP sends a "LANG en-AU" command and server-FTP
   has implemented language tags en-US and en-UK it may decide that the
   most appropriate language tag is en-UK and return "200 en-AU not
   supported. Language set to en-UK". The numeric response is a protocol
   element and can not be changed. The associated string is for
   illustrative purposes only.

   Clients and servers that conform to this specification MUST support
   the LANG command. Clients SHOULD, however, anticipate receiving a 500
   or 502 command response, in cases where older or non-compliant
   servers do not recognize or have not implemented the "Lang". A 501
   response SHOULD be sent if the argument to the "Lang" command is not
   syntactically correct. A 504 response SHOULD be sent if the "Lang"
   argument, while syntactically correct, is not implemented. As noted
   above, an argument may be considered a lexicon match even though it
   is not an exact syntax match.

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4.3 Feat response for LANG command

   A server-FTP process that supports the LANG command, and language
   support for messages and command responses, MUST include in the
   response to the FEAT command [RFC2389], a feature line indicating
   that the LANG command is supported and a fact list of the supported
   language tags. A response to a FEAT command SHALL be in the following

        Lang-feat  = SP "LANG" SP lang-fact CRLF
        lang-fact  = lang-tag ["*"] *(";" lang-tag ["*"])

        lang-tag   = Primary-tag *( "-" Sub-tag)
        Primary-tag= 1*8ALPHA
        Sub-tag    = 1*8ALPHA

   The lang-feat response contains the string "LANG" followed by a
   language fact. This string is not case sensitive, but SHOULD be
   transmitted in upper case, as recommended in [RFC2389]. The initial
   space shown in the Lang-feat response is REQUIRED by the FEAT
   command. It MUST be a single space character. More or less space
   characters are not permitted. The lang-fact SHALL include the lang-
   tags which server-FTP can support. At least one lang-tag MUST be
   included with the FEAT response. The lang-tag SHALL be in the form
   described earlier in this document. The OPTIONAL asterisk, when
   present, SHALL indicate the current lang-tag being used by server-FTP
   for messages and responses.

4.3.1 Feat examples

        C> feat
        S> 211- <any descriptive text>
        S>  ...
        S>  LANG EN*
        S>  ...
        S> 211 end

   In this example server-FTP can only support English, which is the
   current language (as shown by the asterisk) being used by the server
   for messages and command responses.

        C> feat
        S> 211- <any descriptive text>
        S>  ...
        S>  LANG EN*;FR
        S>  ...
        S> 211 end

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        C> LANG fr
        S> 200 Le response sera changez au francais

        C> feat
        S> 211- <quelconque descriptif texte>
        S>  ...
        S>  LANG EN;FR*
        S>  ...
        S> 211 end

   In this example server-FTP supports both English and French as shown
   by the initial response to the FEAT command. The asterisk indicates
   that English is the current language in use by server-FTP. After a
   LANG command is issued to change the language to French, the FEAT
   response shows French as the current language in use.

   In the above examples ellipses indicate placeholders where other
   features may be included, but are NOT REQUIRED.

5 Security Considerations

   This document addresses the support of character sets beyond 1 byte
   and a new language negotiation command. Conformance to this document
   should not induce a security risk.

6 Acknowledgments

   The following people have contributed to this document:

   D. J. Bernstein
   Martin J. Duerst
   Mark Harris
   Paul Hethmon
   Alun Jones
   Gregory Lundberg
   James Matthews
   Keith Moore
   Sandra O'Donnell
   Benjamin Riefenstahl
   Stephen Tihor

   (and others from the FTPEXT working group)

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7 Glossary

   BIDI - abbreviation for Bi-directional, a reference to mixed right-
   to-left and left-to-right text.

   Character Set - a collection of characters used to represent textual
   information in which each character has a numeric value

   Code Set -  (see character set).

   Glyph - a character image represented on a display device.

   I18N - "I eighteen N", the first and last letters of the word
   "internationalization" and the eighteen letters in between.

   UCS-2 - the ISO/IEC 10646 two octet Universal Character Set form.

   UCS-4 - the ISO/IEC 10646 four octet Universal Character Set form.

   UTF-8 - the UCS Transformation Format represented in 8 bits.

   TF-16 - A 16-bit format including the BMP (directly encoded) and
   surrogate pairs to represent characters in planes 01-16; equivalent
   to Unicode.

8 Bibliography

   [ABNF]       Crocker, D. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax
                Specifications: ABNF", RFC 2234, November 1997.

   [ASCII]      ANSI X3.4:1986 Coded Character Sets - 7 Bit American
                National Standard Code for Information Interchange (7-
                bit ASCII)

   [ISO-8859]   ISO 8859.  International standard -- Information
                processing -- 8-bit single-byte coded graphic character
                sets -- Part 1:Latin alphabet No. 1 (1987) -- Part 2:
                Latin alphabet No. 2 (1987) -- Part 3: Latin alphabet
                No. 3 (1988) -- Part 4: Latin alphabet No. 4 (1988) --
                Part 5: Latin/Cyrillic alphabet (1988) -- Part 6:
                Latin/Arabic alphabet (1987) -- Part : Latin/Greek
                alphabet (1987) -- Part 8: Latin/Hebrew alphabet (1988)
                -- Part 9: Latin alphabet No. 5 (1989) -- Part10: Latin
                alphabet No. 6 (1992)

   [BCP14]      Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
                Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

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   [ISO-10646]  ISO/IEC 10646-1:1993. International standard --
                Information technology -- Universal multiple-octet coded
                character set (UCS) -- Part 1: Architecture and basic
                multilingual plane.

   [MLST]       Elz, R. and P. Hethmon, "Extensions to FTP", Work in

   [RFC854]     Postel, J. and J. Reynolds, "Telnet Protocol
                Specification", STD 8, RFC 854, May 1983.

   [RFC959]     Postel, J. and J. Reynolds, "File Transfer Protocol
                (FTP)", STD 9, RFC 959, October 1985.

   [RFC1123]    Braden, R., "Requirements for Internet Hosts --
                Application and Support", STD 3, RFC 1123, October 1989.

   [RFC1738]    Berners-Lee, T., Masinter, L. and M. McCahill, "Uniform
                Resource Locators (URL)", RFC 1738, December 1994.

   [RFC1766]    Alvestrand, H., "Tags for the Identification of
                Languages", RFC 1766, March 1995.

   [RFC2130]    Weider, C., Preston, C., Simonsen, K., Alvestrand, H.,
                Atkinson, R., Crispin, M. and P. Svanberg, "Character
                Set Workshop Report", RFC 2130, April 1997.

   [RFC2277]    Alvestrand, H., " IETF Policy on Character Sets and
                Languages", RFC 2277, January 1998.

   [RFC2279]    Yergeau, F., "UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO
                10646", RFC 2279, January 1998.

   [RFC2389]    Elz, R. and P. Hethmon, "Feature Negotiation Mechanism
                for the File Transfer Protocol", RFC 2389, August 1998.

   [UNICODE]    The Unicode Consortium, "The Unicode Standard - Version
                2.0", Addison Westley Developers Press, July 1996.

   [UTF-8]      ISO/IEC 10646-1:1993 AMENDMENT 2 (1996). UCS
                Transformation Format 8 (UTF-8).

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9 Author's Address

   Bill Curtin
   Attn: JEBBD
   Ft. Monmouth, N.J. 07703-5613

   EMail: curtinw@ftm.disa.mil

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Annex A - Implementation Considerations

A.1 General Considerations

   - Implementers should ensure that their code accounts for potential
     problems, such as using a NULL character to terminate a string or
     no longer being able to steal the high order bit for internal use,
     when supporting the extended character set.

   - Implementers should be aware that there is a chance that pathnames
     that are non UTF-8 may be parsed as valid UTF-8. The probabilities
     are low for some encoding or statistically zero to zero for others.
     A recent non-scientific analysis found that EUC encoded Japanese
     words had a 2.7% false reading; SJIS had a 0.0005% false reading;
     other encoding such as ASCII or KOI-8 have a 0% false reading. This
     probability is highest for short pathnames and decreases as
     pathname size increases. Implementers may want to look for signs
     that pathnames which parse as UTF-8 are not valid UTF-8, such as
     the existence of multiple local character sets in short pathnames.
     Hopefully, as more implementations conform to UTF-8 transfer
     encoding there will be a smaller need to guess at the encoding.

   - Client developers should be aware that it will be possible for
     pathnames to contain mixed characters (e.g.
     //Latin1DirectoryName/HebrewFileName). They should be prepared to
     handle the Bi-directional (BIDI) display of these character sets
     (i.e. right to left display for the directory and left to right
     display for the filename). While bi-directional display is outside
     the scope of this document and more complicated than the above
     example, an algorithm for bi-directional display can be found in
     the UNICODE 2.0 [UNICODE] standard. Also note that pathnames can
     have different byte ordering yet be logically and display-wise
     equivalent due to the insertion of BIDI control characters at
     different points during composition. Also note that mixed character
     sets may also present problems with font swapping.

   - A server that copies pathnames transparently from a local
     filesystem may continue to do so. It is then up to the local file
     creators to use UTF-8 pathnames.

   - Servers can supports charset labeling of files and/or directories,
     such that different pathnames may have different charsets. The
     server should attempt to convert all pathnames to UTF-8, but if it
     can't then it should leave that name in its raw form.

   - Some server's OS do not mandate character sets, but allow
     administrators to configure it in the FTP server. These servers
     should be configured to use a particular mapping table (either

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     external or built-in). This will allow the flexibility of defining
     different charsets for different directories.

   - If the server's OS does not mandate the character set and the FTP
     server cannot be configured, the server should simply use the raw
     bytes in the file name.  They might be ASCII or UTF-8.

   - If the server is a mirror, and wants to look just like the site it
     is mirroring, it should store the exact file name bytes that it
     received from the main server.

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A.2 Transition Considerations

   - Servers which support this specification, when presented a pathname
     from an old client (one which does not support this specification),
     can nearly always tell whether the pathname is in UTF-8 (see B.1)
     or in some other code set. In order to support these older clients,
     servers may wish to default to a non UTF-8 code set. However, how a
     server supports non UTF-8 is outside the scope of this

   - Clients which support this specification will be able to determine
     if the server can support UTF-8 (i.e. supports this specification)
     by the ability of the server to support the FEAT command and the
     UTF8 feature (defined in 3.2). If the newer clients determine that
     the server does not support UTF-8 it may wish to default to a
     different code set. Client developers should take into
     consideration that pathnames, associated with older servers, might
     be stored in UTF-8. However, how a client supports non UTF-8 is
     outside the scope of this specification.

   - Clients and servers can transition to UTF-8 by either converting
     to/from the local encoding, or the users can store UTF-8 filenames.
     The former approach is easier on tightly controlled file systems
     (e.g. PCs and MACs). The latter approach is easier on more free
     form file systems (e.g. Unix).

   - For interactive use attention should be focused on user interface
     and ease of use. Non-interactive use requires a consistent and
     controlled behavior.

   - There may be many applications which reference files under their
     old raw pathname (e.g. linked URLs). Changing the pathname to UTF-8
     will cause access to the old URL to fail. A solution may be for the
     server to act as if there was 2 different pathnames associated with
     the file. This might be done internal to the server on controlled
     file systems or by using symbolic links on free form systems. While
     this approach may work for single file transfer non-interactive
     use, a non-interactive transfer of all of the files in a directory
     will produce duplicates. Interactive users may be presented with
     lists of files which are double the actual number files.

Curtin                     Proposed Standard                   [Page 18]

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Annex B - Sample Code and Examples

B.1 Valid UTF-8 check

   The following routine checks if a byte sequence is valid UTF-8. This
   is done by checking for the proper tagging of the first and following
   bytes to make sure they conform to the UTF-8 format. It then checks
   to assure that the data part of the UTF-8 sequence conforms to the
   proper range allowed by the encoding. Note: This routine will not
   detect characters that have not been assigned and therefore do not

int utf8_valid(const unsigned char *buf, unsigned int len)
 const unsigned char *endbuf = buf + len;
 unsigned char byte2mask=0x00, c;
 int trailing = 0;  // trailing (continuation) bytes to follow

 while (buf != endbuf)
   c = *buf++;
   if (trailing)
    if ((c&0xC0) == 0x80)  // Does trailing byte follow UTF-8 format?
    {if (byte2mask)        // Need to check 2nd byte for proper range?
      if (c&byte2mask)     // Are appropriate bits set?
       return 0;
     trailing--; }
     return 0;
    if ((c&0x80) == 0x00)  continue;      // valid 1 byte UTF-8
    else if ((c&0xE0) == 0xC0)            // valid 2 byte UTF-8
          if (c&0x1E)                     // Is UTF-8 byte in
                                          // proper range?
           trailing =1;
           return 0;
    else if ((c&0xF0) == 0xE0)           // valid 3 byte UTF-8
          {if (!(c&0x0F))                // Is UTF-8 byte in
                                         // proper range?
            byte2mask=0x20;              // If not set mask
                                         // to check next byte
            trailing = 2;}
    else if ((c&0xF8) == 0xF0)           // valid 4 byte UTF-8
          {if (!(c&0x07))                // Is UTF-8 byte in
                                         // proper range?

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            byte2mask=0x30;              // If not set mask
                                         // to check next byte
            trailing = 3;}
    else if ((c&0xFC) == 0xF8)           // valid 5 byte UTF-8
          {if (!(c&0x03))                // Is UTF-8 byte in
                                         // proper range?
            byte2mask=0x38;              // If not set mask
                                         // to check next byte
            trailing = 4;}
    else if ((c&0xFE) == 0xFC)           // valid 6 byte UTF-8
          {if (!(c&0x01))                // Is UTF-8 byte in
                                         // proper range?
            byte2mask=0x3C;              // If not set mask
                                         // to check next byte
            trailing = 5;}
    else  return 0;
  return trailing == 0;

B.2 Conversions

   The code examples in this section closely reflect the algorithm in
   ISO 10646 and may not present the most efficient solution for
   converting to / from UTF-8 encoding. If efficiency is an issue,
   implementers should use the appropriate bitwise operators.

   Additional code examples and numerous mapping tables can be found at
   the Unicode site, HTTP://www.unicode.org or FTP://unicode.org.

   Note that the conversion examples below assume that the local
   character set supported in the operating system is something other
   than UCS2/UTF-16. There are some operating systems that already
   support UCS2/UTF-16 (notably Plan 9 and Windows NT). In this case no
   conversion will be necessary from the local character set to the UCS.

B.2.1 Conversion from Local Character Set to UTF-8

   Conversion from the local filesystem character set to UTF-8 will
   normally involve a two step process. First convert the local
   character set to the UCS; then convert the UCS to UTF-8.

   The first step in the process can be performed by maintaining a
   mapping table that includes the local character set code and the
   corresponding UCS code. For instance the ISO/IEC 8859-8 [ISO-8859]
   code for the Hebrew letter "VAV" is 0xE4. The corresponding 4 byte
   ISO/IEC 10646 code is 0x000005D5.

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   The next step is to convert the UCS character code to the UTF-8
   encoding. The following routine can be used to determine and encode
   the correct number of bytes based on the UCS-4 character code:

   unsigned int ucs4_to_utf8 (unsigned long *ucs4_buf, unsigned int
                              ucs4_len, unsigned char *utf8_buf)

    const unsigned long *ucs4_endbuf = ucs4_buf + ucs4_len;
    unsigned int utf8_len = 0;        // return value for UTF8 size
    unsigned char *t_utf8_buf = utf8_buf; // Temporary pointer
                                          // to load UTF8 values

    while (ucs4_buf != ucs4_endbuf)
     if ( *ucs4_buf <= 0x7F)    // ASCII chars no conversion needed
      *t_utf8_buf++ = (unsigned char) *ucs4_buf;
      if ( *ucs4_buf <= 0x07FF ) // In the 2 byte utf-8 range
        *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0xC0 + (*ucs4_buf/0x40));
        *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0x80 + (*ucs4_buf%0x40));
        if ( *ucs4_buf <= 0xFFFF ) /* In the 3 byte utf-8 range. The
                                    values 0x0000FFFE, 0x0000FFFF
                                    and 0x0000D800 - 0x0000DFFF do
                                    not occur in UCS-4 */
         *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0xE0 +
         *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0x80 +
         *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0x80 + (*ucs4_buf%0x40));
         if ( *ucs4_buf <= 0x1FFFFF ) //In the 4 byte utf-8 range
          *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0xF0 +

Curtin                     Proposed Standard                   [Page 21]

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          *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0x80 +
          *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0x80 +
          *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0x80 + (*ucs4_buf%0x40));

          if ( *ucs4_buf <= 0x03FFFFFF )//In the 5 byte utf-8 range
           *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0xF8 +
           *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0x80 +
           *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0x80 +
           *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0x80 +
           *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0x80 +
          if ( *ucs4_buf <= 0x7FFFFFFF )//In the 6 byte utf-8 range
             *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char)
                            (0xF8 +(*ucs4_buf/0x40000000));
             *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0x80 +
             *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0x80 +
             *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0x80 +
             *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0x80 +
             *t_utf8_buf++= (unsigned char) (0x80 +

    return (utf8_len);

Curtin                     Proposed Standard                   [Page 22]

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B.2.2 Conversion from UTF-8 to Local Character Set

   When moving from UTF-8 encoding to the local character set the
   reverse procedure is used. First the UTF-8 encoding is transformed
   into the UCS-4 character set. The UCS-4 is then converted to the
   local character set from a mapping table (i.e. the opposite of the
   table used to form the UCS-4 character code).

   To convert from UTF-8 to UCS-4 the free bits (those that do not
   define UTF-8 sequence size or signify continuation bytes) in a UTF-8
   sequence are concatenated as a bit string. The bits are then
   distributed into a four-byte sequence starting from the least
   significant bits. Those bits not assigned a bit in the four-byte
   sequence are padded with ZERO bits. The following routine converts
   the UTF-8 encoding to UCS-4 character codes:

   int utf8_to_ucs4 (unsigned long *ucs4_buf, unsigned int utf8_len,
                     unsigned char *utf8_buf)

   const unsigned char *utf8_endbuf = utf8_buf + utf8_len;
   unsigned int ucs_len=0;

    while (utf8_buf != utf8_endbuf)

     if ((*utf8_buf & 0x80) == 0x00)  /*ASCII chars no conversion
                                        needed */
      *ucs4_buf++ = (unsigned long) *utf8_buf;
      if ((*utf8_buf & 0xE0)== 0xC0) //In the 2 byte utf-8 range
        *ucs4_buf++ = (unsigned long) (((*utf8_buf - 0xC0) * 0x40)
                       + ( *(utf8_buf+1) - 0x80));
        utf8_buf += 2;
        if ( (*utf8_buf & 0xF0) == 0xE0 ) /*In the 3 byte utf-8
                                            range */
        *ucs4_buf++ = (unsigned long) (((*utf8_buf - 0xE0) * 0x1000)
                      + (( *(utf8_buf+1) -  0x80) * 0x40)
                      + ( *(utf8_buf+2) - 0x80));

Curtin                     Proposed Standard                   [Page 23]

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         if ((*utf8_buf & 0xF8) == 0xF0) /* In the 4 byte utf-8
                                            range */
          *ucs4_buf++ = (unsigned long)
                          (((*utf8_buf - 0xF0) * 0x040000)
                          + (( *(utf8_buf+1) -  0x80) * 0x1000)
                          + (( *(utf8_buf+2) -  0x80) * 0x40)
                          + ( *(utf8_buf+3) - 0x80));
          if ((*utf8_buf & 0xFC) == 0xF8) /* In the 5 byte utf-8
                                             range */
           *ucs4_buf++ = (unsigned long)
                          (((*utf8_buf - 0xF8) * 0x01000000)
                          + ((*(utf8_buf+1) - 0x80) * 0x040000)
                          + (( *(utf8_buf+2) -  0x80) * 0x1000)
                          + (( *(utf8_buf+3) -  0x80) * 0x40)
                          + ( *(utf8_buf+4) - 0x80));
           if ((*utf8_buf & 0xFE) == 0xFC) /* In the 6 byte utf-8
                                              range */
             *ucs4_buf++ = (unsigned long)
                           (((*utf8_buf - 0xFC) * 0x40000000)
                            + ((*(utf8_buf+1) - 0x80) * 0x010000000)
                            + ((*(utf8_buf+2) - 0x80) * 0x040000)
                            + (( *(utf8_buf+3) -  0x80) * 0x1000)
                            + (( *(utf8_buf+4) -  0x80) * 0x40)
                            + ( *(utf8_buf+5) - 0x80));

   return (ucs_len);

Curtin                     Proposed Standard                   [Page 24]

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B.2.3 ISO/IEC 8859-8 Example

   This example demonstrates mapping ISO/IEC 8859-8 character set to
   UTF-8 and back to ISO/IEC 8859-8. As noted earlier, the Hebrew letter
   "VAV" is convertd from the ISO/IEC 8859-8 character code 0xE4 to the
   corresponding 4 byte ISO/IEC 10646 code of 0x000005D5 by a simple
   lookup of a conversion/mapping file.

   The UCS-4 character code is transformed into UTF-8 using the
   ucs4_to_utf8 routine described earlier by:

   1. Because the UCS-4 character is between 0x80 and 0x07FF it will map
      to a 2 byte UTF-8 sequence.
   2. The first byte is defined by (0xC0 + (0x000005D5 / 0x40)) = 0xD7.

   3. The second byte is defined by (0x80 + (0x000005D5 % 0x40)) = 0x95.

   The UTF-8 encoding is transferred back to UCS-4 by using the
   utf8_to_ucs4 routine described earlier by:

   1. Because the first byte of the sequence, when the '&' operator with
      a value of 0xE0 is applied, will produce 0xC0 (0xD7 & 0xE0 = 0xC0)
      the UTF-8 is a 2 byte sequence.
   2. The four byte UCS-4 character code is produced by (((0xD7 - 0xC0)
      * 0x40) + (0x95 -0x80)) = 0x000005D5.

   Finally, the UCS-4 character code is converted to ISO/IEC 8859-8
   character code (using the mapping table which matches ISO/IEC 8859-8
   to UCS-4 ) to produce the original 0xE4 code for the Hebrew letter

B.2.4 Vendor Codepage Example

   This example demonstrates the mapping of a codepage to UTF-8 and back
   to a vendor codepage. Mapping between vendor codepages can be done in
   a very similar manner as described above. For instance both the PC
   and Mac codepages reflect the character set from the Thai standard
   TIS 620-2533. The character code on both platforms for the Thai
   letter "SO SO" is 0xAB. This character can then be mapped into the
   UCS-4 by way of a conversion/mapping file to produce the UCS-4 code
   of 0x0E0B.

   The UCS-4 character code is transformed into UTF-8 using the
   ucs4_to_utf8 routine described earlier by:

   1. Because the UCS-4 character is between 0x0800 and 0xFFFF it will
      map to a 3 byte UTF-8 sequence.
   2. The first byte is defined by (0xE0 + (0x00000E0B / 0x1000) = 0xE0.

Curtin                     Proposed Standard                   [Page 25]

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   3. The second byte is defined by (0x80 + ((0x00000E0B / 0x40) %
      0x40))) = 0xB8.
   4. The third byte is defined by (0x80 + (0x00000E0B % 0x40)) = 0x8B.

   The UTF-8 encoding is transferred back to UCS-4 by using the
   utf8_to_ucs4 routine described earlier by:

   1. Because the first byte of the sequence, when the '&' operator with
      a value of 0xF0 is applied, will produce 0xE0 (0xE0 & 0xF0 = 0xE0)
      the UTF-8 is a 3 byte sequence.
   2. The four byte UCS-4 character code is produced by (((0xE0 - 0xE0)
      * 0x1000) + ((0xB8 - 0x80) * 0x40) + (0x8B -0x80) = 0x0000E0B.

   Finally, the UCS-4 character code is converted to either the PC or
   MAC codepage character code (using the mapping table which matches
   codepage to UCS-4 ) to produce the original 0xAB code for the Thai
   letter "SO SO".

B.3 Pseudo Code for a High-Quality Translating Server

   if utf8_valid(fn)
     attempt to convert fn to the local charset, producing localfn
     if (conversion fails temporarily) return error
     if (conversion succeeds)
       attempt to open localfn
       if (open fails temporarily) return error
       if (open succeeds) return success
   attempt to open fn
   if (open fails temporarily) return error
   if (open succeeds) return success
   return permanent error

Curtin                     Proposed Standard                   [Page 26]

RFC 2640                  FTP Internalization                  July 1999

Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.

   This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
   others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
   or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
   and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
   kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
   included on all such copies and derivative works.  However, this
   document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
   the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
   Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
   developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
   copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
   followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than

   The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
   revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

   This document and the information contained herein is provided on an


   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
   Internet Society.

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