W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > ietf-http-wg-old@w3.org > January to April 1996

Re: elaboration on MIME and HTTP issue

From: Gavin Nicol <gtn@ebt.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 21:34:38 -0500
Message-Id: <199601230234.VAA29979@ebt-inc.ebt.com>
To: masinter@parc.xerox.com
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
>> In the current Netscape, I can set a preference about encodings, and if I
>> choose "Japanese, auto-detect", not only do I get ugly fonts for my
>> ISO-8859-1 text, but some IS0-8859-1 get mapped to inappropriate
>> glyphs at display time. On the other hand, if I set it to ISO-8859-1,
>> then my Japanes text comes out looking like garbage.
> 
>I agree, it's awful. How would you suggest describing the mess we've
>got ourselves into?

Well, I guess this is a hint that I should stop complaining, and
contribute to the production of the information RFC. I thought about
this quite a lot, and I couldn't think of much apart from "a mess"
;-) 

Seriously though, we could put some language like the following in
the draft.

-----
Note that currenlty, most servers do not add the "charset" parameter
to the content descriptor. For documents that use any character set or
encoding other than ISO 8859-1, this leads to severe interoperability
problems. Most current browsers are capable of performing a limited
amount of encoding auto-sensing, but this mechanism is unreliable,
and results in many inconveniences for end-users. Incorrect, or lack
of labelling also hampers the deployment of many useful applications
like code conversion servers and automatic translation systems.
Received on Monday, 22 January 1996 18:40:33 EST

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