Charset for newsgroups file

Russ Allbery rra at
Fri Nov 5 18:17:00 UTC 2004

Felix E Klee <felix.klee at> writes:
> On Wed, 03 Nov 2004 09:40:09 -0800 Russ Allbery wrote:

>> We could do this fairly easily, but it really doesn't deal with all of
>> the underlying issues.  [...]

> Actually, I wasn't thinking when I wrote what I wrote:  A better
> solution would be a command that sets the encoding that the news server
> should use when sending data to the client.  The default would be
> Latin1.

This requires putting character set conversion code into the news server,
which worries me from a complexity standpoint.  The client already has to
have that code in order to deal with RFC 2047 headers, but the server so
far has not needed it.  I'd rather put the character set conversion burden
on the client.

> But ...

>> There aren't any good solutions to this, only painful ones, but moving
>> to UTF-8 as the standard character set is what every other IETF
>> protocol is doing other than the ones that are staying pure 7-bit

> ... the problem is indeed that, AFAICS, newsservers sending non ASCII
> characters are violating RFC 977.  So, people like me have a hard time
> arguing that the introduction of UTF-8 will break existing non-compliant
> setups.

RFC 977 does not include the LIST NEWSGROUPS command.  It's in RFC 2980,
but there's no explicit discussion of character set there.  Prior to the
current NNTP draft, it's not had a formal standards-track specification.

Russ Allbery (rra at             <>

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