Date: Fri, 25 Feb 1994 10:43:23 -0800

From: David Harnick-Shapiro david[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]BUCKAROO.ICS.UCI.EDU

Subject: Re: Phonetic/Phonemic E-Mail Alphabet

On Thu, 24 Feb 1994 12:59, Dan Brink writes:

... Of course, current

7-bit E-mail can't handle UNICODE (although it *could* with

with some sort of mail agent client which could shift from UNICODE

to 7-bit.

Current email *can* support various character sets, when it supports

the recent MIME email standard. If you don't have MIME-compatible

mail readers at your site, pester your Postmaster :-)

(I won't go into this in depth, but basically MIME provides, among

other things, a structured way to indicate what character set is used

in a message. Even better, it allows you to structure your message

into multiple parts, and allows multiple character sets to be used in

different parts of a message. Thus, I could provide two different

versions of my message, one in UNICODE and the other in a pure-ASCII

approximation. When you read my message, your mail reader would take

the chunk that was in UNICODE and crank up a UNICODE-savvy program to

display it. If you did not have such a program on your system, your

mail reader would skip the UNICODE version and display the plain


Any drawbacks? Composing a message is a little more involved,

particularly when you want to provide alternatives as described

above; and MIME messages can look kind of messy to people without

MIME-compliant readers. Worth it? I think so, especially for folks

like us who chafe under the constraints of seven-bit ASCII



David Harnick-Shapiro Internet: david[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Information and Computer Science UUCP: ...!{ucbvax,zardoz}!ucivax!david

University of California, Irvine BITNet: DBSHAPIR[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UCI