Use of Polish Chars on the Internet – Recommendations of Polish Internet Society1996

Polska Społeczność Internetu – Polish Internet Society

To whom it may concern

Improvement of rendering of Polish specific (Ps) characters on Internet

Polish Internet Society, in consideration of the objective of overcoming the main obstacles in transmition of texts with Polish specific (Ps) characters, in order to improve the functionality and operabilty of the Internet, recommends following three goals to all Internet users and producers of communication software:

The main goal: Implementation, for the communication purposes, of remaping of character sets to the ISO 10464 to all operative systems and/or application programs produced for, and used on the polish market, – by the end of year 2000.

1st intermediate goal: Implementation, by Internet providers and suppliers of communication software, of the character set PN/93 T/42118 (which is an extention of ISO 8859-2) by the end of year 1998, and the ISO 10464 character set, by the end of year 2000. In particular it means:

– Use for the purpose of Internet transmition of texts with Ps characters, transmited over Internet by e-mail and news, of MIME standard with character set ISO 8859-2 (RFC 1645) and ISO 10 646

– Use, on the www and gopher servers transmiting texts with Ps characters, encoding in compliance to ISO 8859-2 and ISO 10 646 standards

2nd intermediate goal: Replacement of the software which emits to the communication network the PS characters encoded in noncompliance with polish standard, by the software encoding in compliance with ISO 8859-2 by the end of year 2000, and with ISO 10646 by the end of year 2002.

Clearence statement

Polish Internet Society is joining the international community at the moment when basic rules for encoding of polish characters have been internationally set but the great part of the software distributed on the market does not comply with with settled requirements. PSI recognizes emerging need of introduction of own members to development and research works on future communication tools necessary for growing polish market. In particular full backward renumeration of given rendered character to its digital form – has to be provided. Actually there are many digital representations of particular, polish specific characters, depending on secondary, – competitive goals of particular software and hardware supliers of the past. So long as the ISO 10 646 standard is not comonlly implemented this drawback will hamper improvement of communication locally and internationally.

We recognise, that unanonimous hardware standards are more dificult for negotiation and implementation because of longer tradition of base industry for the hardware. However, in case of software, ones of its main features are convertibility and configuratibility. Therefore an implementation of unanimous international standards in this field is necessary in order to compensate for lack of hardware compatibility.

In new emerging economies (polish BNP per capita is still more than 10 times lower than in leading world economies) is sometimes useful the adoption of less expensive, intermediate and mediating solutions, which may effectively compensate for lack of full software compliance with agreed standards as well as for the expensive immediate migration to better software options. At present one of them is an extensive use of html and PDF format in EDI with polish specific characters.

However basic approach must be a consistent work for supply of product fully compliant with internationally agreed standards on characters encoding.


    1. CEN/TC304/PT01.User requirements study and programming for standardization in the field of Character Set Technology or: Standards for providing multi-cultural functionality in IT-systems,
    2. RFC 1521; MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) Part One:Mechanisms for Specifying and Describing the Format of Internet Message Bodies,
    4. Jürgen Bettels and F. Avery Bishop UNICODE: A UNIVERSAL CHARACTER CODE,
    5. Draf-ietf-http-i18n-07; Hypertext Transfer Protocol — HTTP/1.1,
    6. RFC 1945. Informational, Hypertext Transfer Protocol — HTTP/1.0,
    7. Draft-ietf-html-i18n-05.Internationalization of the Hypertext Markup Language