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Re: (ACCEPT*) Draft text for Accept headers

From: Albert Lunde <Albert-Lunde@nwu.edu>
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 16:46:31 -0600
Message-Id: <v01530502ad86072f8087@[129.105.110.129]>
To: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
>10.2  Accept-Charset
>
>   The Accept-Charset request-header field can be used to indicate what
>   character sets are acceptable for the response. This field allows
>   clients capable of understanding more comprehensive or
>   special-purpose character sets to signal that capability to a server
>   which is capable of representing documents in those character
>   sets. The US-ASCII character set can be assumed to be acceptable to
>   all user agents.
>
>|  [##QUESTION TO BE RESOLVED: Apparently, the latest HTML spec says
>|  that iso-8859-1 can be assumed to be acceptable to all user agents.
>|  Should the above US-ASCII be changed to iso-8859-1??  There has
>|  been lots of discussion on the list, but I have not been able to
>|  detect a consensus opinion.##]

Some considerable effort was put into the wording of the HTML 2.0 spec, to
keep  iso-8859-1 as what one might call the "least common denominator"
character set.  Because the HTML spec is written in the framework of SGML,
a lot of this wording has to do with the form of the SGML document
character set rather than the character encoding, a.k.a.  charset.

I'd tend to agree with the position that *if* we are specifying one charset
all user agents should support, or that should be assumed by default, that
should be iso-8859-1 both for historical reasons and for compatiblity with
the HTML 2.0 spec.

(I can think of counter-arguments involving MIME and/or US_ASCII as a
common subset of iso-8859-X charsets for X<>1)

However, I'm not sure that is the issue here: we are not talking about the
defaults if no headers are specifed, but a charset that can aways be
assumed accepable for a particular content negotiation. I'm less sure of
the pros and cons of this.




---
    Albert Lunde                      Albert-Lunde@nwu.edu
Received on Monday, 1 April 1996 14:50:13 EST

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