Terminology Used in Internationalization in the IETF
RFC 3536

Document Type RFC - Informational (May 2003; No errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 6365
Last updated 2013-03-02
Stream ISE
Formats plain text pdf html
Stream ISE state (None)
Document shepherd No shepherd assigned
IESG IESG state RFC 3536 (Informational)
Telechat date
Responsible AD Patrik Fältström
IESG note Published as RFC 3536 in May 2003
Send notices to <paul.hoffman@vpnc.org>
Network Working Group                                         P. Hoffman
Request for Comments: 3536                                    IMC & VPNC
Category: Informational                                         May 2003

          Terminology Used in Internationalization in the IETF

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   This document provides a glossary of terms used in the IETF when
   discussing internationalization.  The purpose is to help frame
   discussions of internationalization in the various areas of the IETF
   and to help introduce the main concepts to IETF participants.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction...................................................  2
     1.1 Purpose of this document....................................  2
     1.2 Format of the definitions in this document..................  3
   2. Fundamental Terms..............................................  3
   3. Standards Bodies and Standards.................................  8
     3.1 Standards bodies............................................  8
     3.2 Encodings and transformation formats of ISO/IEC 10646....... 10
     3.3 Native CCSs and charsets.................................... 11
   4. Character Issues............................................... 12
     4.1 Types of characters......................................... 15
   5. User interface for text........................................ 17
   6. Text in current IETF protocols................................. 19
   7. Other Common Terms In Internationalization..................... 22
   8. Security Considerations........................................ 25
   9. References..................................................... 25
     9.1 Normative References........................................ 25
     9.2 Informative References...................................... 26
   10. Additional Interesting Reading................................ 27
   11. Index......................................................... 27
   A. Acknowledgements............................................... 29
   B. Author's Address............................................... 29
   Full Copyright Statement.......................................... 30

Hoffman                      Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 3536  Terminology Used in Internationalization in the IETF  May 2003

1. Introduction

   As [RFC2277] summarizes: "Internationalization is for humans.  This
   means that protocols are not subject to internationalization; text
   strings are." Many protocols throughout the IETF use text strings
   that are entered by, or are visible to, humans.  It should be
   possible for anyone to enter or read these text strings, which means
   that Internet users must be able to be enter text in typical input
   methods and displayed in any human language.  Further, text
   containing any character should be able to be passed between Internet
   applications easily.  This is the challenge of internationalization.

1.1 Purpose of this document

   This document provides a glossary of terms used in the IETF when
   discussing internationalization.  The purpose is to help frame
   discussions of internationalization in the various areas of the IETF
   and to help introduce the main concepts to IETF participants.

   Internationalization is discussed in many working groups of the IETF.
   However, few working groups have internationalization experts.  When
   designing or updating protocols, the question often comes up "should
   we internationalize this" (or, more likely, "do we have to
   internationalize this").

   This document gives an overview of internationalization as it applies
   to IETF standards work by lightly covering the many aspects of
   internationalization and the vocabulary associated with those topics.
   It is not meant to be a complete description of internationalization.
   The definitions in this document are not normative for IETF
   standards; however, they are useful and standards may make
   informative reference to this document after it becomes an RFC.  Some
   of the definitions in this document come from many earlier IETF
   documents and books.

   As in many fields, there is disagreement in the internationalization
   community on definitions for many words.  The topic of language
   brings up particularly passionate opinions for experts and non-
   experts alike.  This document attempts to define terms in a way that
   will be most useful to the IETF audience.
Show full document text