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Multi-Lingual String Format (MLSF)

Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (acap WG)
Expired & archived
Author Chris Newman
Last updated 1997-06-09
RFC stream Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
Intended RFC status (None)
Additional resources
Stream WG state WG Document
Document shepherd (None)
IESG IESG state Expired
Consensus boilerplate Unknown
Telechat date (None)
Responsible AD (None)
Send notices to (None)

This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft is available in these formats:


The IAB charset workshop [IAB-CHARSET] concluded that for human readable text there should always be a way to specify the natural language. Many protocols are designed with an attribute-value model (including RFC 822, HTTP, LDAP, SNMP, DHCP, and ACAP) which stores many small human readable text strings. The primary function of an attribute-value model is to simplify both extensibility and searchability. A solution is needed to provide language tags in these small human readable text strings, which does not interfere with these primary functions. This specification defines MLSF (Multi-Lingual String Format) which applies another layer of encoding on top of UTF-8 [UTF-8] to permit the addition of language tags anywhere within a text string. In addition, it defines an alternate form which can be used to include alternative representations of the same text in different character sets. MLSF has the property that UTF-8 is a proper subset of MLSF. This preserves the searchability requirement of the attribute-value model. Appendix F of this document includes a brief discussion of the background behind MLSF and why some other potential solutions were rejected for this purpose.


Chris Newman

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)