W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > ietf-http-wg-old@w3.org > May to August 1995

Re: ISO/IEC 10646 as Document Character Set

From: Gavin Nicol <gtn@ebt.com>
Date: Thu, 4 May 1995 03:24:15 -0400
Message-Id: <199505040724.DAA23018@ebt-inc.ebt.com>
To: erik@netscape.com
Cc: glenn@stonehand.com, erik@netscape.com, html-wg@oclc.org, http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
>It's "How do we get from the current situation to one where the charsets
>are labelled?"  This is the pressing issue that I think Amanda is also
>concerned about.
 
If you present a series of logical explanations, people here will
understand them.

>Preferably, any proposed solution would also take into account the
>installed base and migration issues.

I'd be far more worried about it in 6 months if we don't force
conformance to standards. 
 
>All I'm saying is, let's exercise some caution before blindly getting
>our servers to append the charset parameter to the content-type line.

Well, think of it this way: 

95% of all WWW software in use in Japan was developed overseas. Once
Mosaic L10N understands the charset parameter (and this should be in
the core libraries, not the patch. NCSA folk?) then I think you'll
find that most clients in Japan will understand the charset parameter
(as Netscape and others already do). Most of the servers in use in
Japan were developed overseas. Many of them are freeware. If
these servers are modifed such that if they see an Accept-Charset
parameter, they label document types correctly, then we'll be 90% of
the way there. In 6 months most people will have upgraded (Japanese
tend to like having the latest version, especially if it's free).

If I were a commercial vendor of WWW browsers, I would probably set
someone about the task of adding charset=xxx support to all the
freeware products, because it'd probably be much cheaper than
maintenace, and development costs associated with not supporting it
correctly. 

>If we decide that we're willing to accept any pain and suffering caused
>by introducing the charset parameter blindly, then that's OK too.  As long
>as we consciously decide to do so.
 
The developers of WWW software are in a position right now to make
this (slightly painful) decision. In 6 months, you will not be. Now,
you can point to HTTP-WG and HTML-WG and say "they decided, not us",
and you'll probably hear slight complaints, but get general
acceptance. In 6 months...
Received on Thursday, 4 May 1995 01:18:18 EDT

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