Re: [saag] i18n requirements (was: Re: NF* (Re: PKCS#11 URI slot attributes & last call))

Jan Pechanec <> Tue, 13 January 2015 00:47 UTC

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Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2015 16:45:57 -0800 (PST)
From: Jan Pechanec <>
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To: Nico Williams <>
Subject: Re: [saag] i18n requirements (was: Re: NF* (Re: PKCS#11 URI slot attributes & last call))
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On Mon, 12 Jan 2015, Nico Williams wrote:

>On Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 05:36:21PM -0600, Pete Resnick wrote:
>> On 1/11/15 10:54 PM, Nico Williams wrote:
>> >On Sun, Jan 11, 2015 at 05:28:30PM -0500, Salz, Rich wrote:
>> >
>> >>>I'd go even further than that and just mandate MUST ASCII.
>> >>I don't know if the IETF is "allowed" to do that any more, but +1 for
>> >>the reasons you list.
>> >I'm not sure if the IESG will agree to that...
>> Given that this particular member of the IESG has (successfully)
>> argued vehemently for ASCII-only on multiple occasions in the recent
>> past, I would say that your worries on that score are overdone. :-)
>Well alright.  I'd love to see a set of guidelines for I18N activities.
>When should we try to support Unicode, and when should we not?  Is it
>one of those "I know it when I see it" kinds of guidelines?  That
>wouldn't be useful enough :(
>Mind you, IIRC PKCS#11 didn't even say anything about ASCII before.
>Token labels and such used to be fixed-sized octet strings containing
>character data.  Jan can correct me if I'm wrong.  I'm not sure even
>saying "ASCII-only" would necessarily be safe in that case...
>Fortunately the OASIS PKCS11 TC has clarified that these are UTF-8;
>unfortunately they left other I18N details out.

	hi Nico, the PKCS#11 specification says those strings are 
UTF-8 back in the last version that is still current (2.20) from 2004 
(didn't check earlier versions).  I don't think that OASIS PKCS11 TC 
has made any changes in that area to upcoming 2.40 and issues of 
normalization have never been brought up there either; I talked about 
it to Valerie Fenwick, one of the chairs of OASIS PKCS11 TC.

	I think that saying that characters from US-ASCII set SHOULD 
be used for labels and names since the PKCS#11 spec is not clear about 
the normalization should be safe here.

	which is what I did in draft 18 I've filed today and it 
contains the changes on how to deal with UTF-8 which have been 
discussed in the last couple of weeks.

	cheers, Jan.

Jan Pechanec <>