Full use of electronic mail throughout the world requires that people
be able to use their own names, written correctly in their own
languages and scripts, as mailbox names in email addresses. This
document introduces a series of specifications that define mechanisms
and protocol extensions needed to fully support internationalized
email addresses. These changes include an SMTP extension and
extension of email header syntax to accommodate UTF-8 data. The
document set also includes discussion of key assumptions and issues
in deploying fully internationalized email.
Working Group Summary
The decision to not provide any means of "automatic
encapsulation" of UTF-8 email addresses, but instead insist
that the sender specify an alternate address for downgrading
purposes was controversial, but was definitely the decision of
the working group.
This document is not subject to independent implementation,
but the Chairs believe that it will be a useful tool in producing
further specifications and guiding subsequent efforts. The Document
Shepherd is Harald Alvestrand. The responsible AD is Ted Hardie.