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[aprssig] Please,standardize UTF-8 for APRS

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Thu Dec 17 00:30:33 UTC 2009


> Currently APRS-1.0.1 protocol says:  
> US-ASCII, 7-BIT CHARACTERS.
> For us that is completely inadequate.

In cleaning up old email, there were hundreds of emails back in
September on the topic of expanding the APRS spec to UTF-8 to
include all other languages in text messaging.  In the hundreds
of emails it is hard for me to remember the conclusion.

But I have asked all authors to investigate and to date, no one
that I can remember said that transmitting a non USA ASCII
message in UTF-8 resulted in a failed packet.  Of course the
text displayed gyberish on non-compatible systems, but at least
they displayed that a "message" was received.  I expect gyberish
in old systems, but we must identify broken packets that do not
get parsed at all.

So I have added to the APRS1.2 addendum that future systems may
use UTF-8 in text message fields and STATUS fields or at least
make sure that receipt of same does not break the packet for
display in some form.  www.aprs.org/aprs12.html

We need to find and document all existing clients and systems
that fail a packet that contains UTF-8 text.  An example of a
"failed" packet would be a POSITION packet that has a UTF-8
text, and that text causes the client to ignore the POSITION.
These such incompatibilities must be documented as we move on...

Bob, WB4APR






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