Internationalization of the File Transfer Protocol
RFC 2640

 
Document Type RFC - Proposed Standard (July 1999; No errata)
Updates RFC 959
Last updated 2013-03-02
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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.

Abstract

   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

   ABSTRACT.......................................................1
   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

Curtin                     Proposed Standard                    [Page 1]
RFC 2640                  FTP Internalization                  July 1999

    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
   ANNEX A - IMPLEMENTATION CONSIDERATIONS.......................16
    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
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