The Use of Non-ASCII Characters in RFCs
RFC 7997

Document Type RFC - Informational (December 2016; No errata)
Updates RFC 7322
Was draft-iab-rfc-nonascii (individual)
Last updated 2016-12-16
Replaces draft-flanagan-nonascii
Stream IAB
Formats plain text pdf html bibtex
Stream IAB state Published RFC
Consensus Boilerplate Yes
RFC Editor Note (None)
Internet Architecture Board (IAB)                       H. Flanagan, Ed.
Request for Comments: 7997                                    RFC Editor
Updates: 7322                                              December 2016
Category: Informational
ISSN: 2070-1721

                The Use of Non-ASCII Characters in RFCs

Abstract

   In order to support the internationalization of protocols and a more
   diverse Internet community, the RFC Series must evolve to allow for
   the use of non-ASCII characters in RFCs.  While English remains the
   required language of the Series, the encoding of future RFCs will be
   in UTF-8, allowing for a broader range of characters than typically
   used in the English language.  This document describes the RFC Editor
   requirements and gives guidance regarding the use of non-ASCII
   characters in RFCs.

   This document updates RFC 7322.  Please view this document in PDF
   form to see the full text.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)
   and represents information that the IAB has deemed valuable to
   provide for permanent record.  It represents the consensus of the
   Internet Architecture Board (IAB).  Documents approved for
   publication by the IAB are not a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 7841.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7997.

Flanagan                      Informational                     [Page 1]
RFC 7997                    Non-ASCII in RFCs              December 2016

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2016 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  Basic Requirements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Rules for the Use of Non-ASCII Characters . . . . . . . . . .   4
     3.1.  General Usage throughout a Document . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     3.2.  Person Names  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     3.3.  Company Names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     3.4.  Body of the Document  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     3.5.  Tables  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     3.6.  Code Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     3.7.  Bibliographic Text  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     3.8.  Keywords and Citation Tags  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     3.9.  Address Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   4.  Normalization Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   5.  XML Markup  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   6.  Internationalization Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   7.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   8.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   IAB Members at the Time of Approval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15

Flanagan                      Informational                     [Page 2]
RFC 7997                    Non-ASCII in RFCs              December 2016

1.  Introduction

   Please review the PDF version of this draft.

   For much of the history of the RFC Series, the character encoding
   used for RFCs has been ASCII [RFC20].  This was a sensible choice at
   the time: the language of the Series has always been English, a
   language that primarily uses ASCII-encoded characters (ignoring for a
   moment words borrowed from more richly decorated alphabets); and,
   ASCII is the "lowest common denominator" for character encoding,
   making cross-platform viewing trivial.

   There are limits to ASCII, however, that hinder its continued use as
   the exclusive character encoding for the Series.  The increasing need
   for easily readable, internationalized content suggests it is time to
   allow non-ASCII characters in RFCs where necessary.  To support this
   move away from ASCII, RFCs will switch to supporting UTF-8 as the
   default character encoding and will allow support for a broad range
   of Unicode characters [UnicodeCurrent].  Note that the RFC Editor may
   reject any code point that does not render adequately across all
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