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Re: proposed HTTP changes for charset

From: Ted Hardie <hardie@merlot.arc.nasa.gov>
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 09:15:12 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <199607031615.JAA23351@merlot.arc.nasa.gov>
To: Francois Yergeau <yergeau@alis.ca>
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/1010
Larry writes: 

> > < The "charset" parameter is used with some media types to define the
> > < character set (section 3.4) of the data. Origin servers SHOULD
> > < include an appropriate charset parameter for those media types which
> > < allow one (including text/html and text/plain) to avoid ambiguity.
> > < In the absence of a charset parameter, the default charset value MAY
> > < be assumed to be "ISO-8859-1" when received from a HTTP/1.1 server.

Francois writes: 
> Not good enough, I'm afraid.  For one, charset can still be ignored, 
> and the problem we have now (its absence in most cases) will not be 
> solved.  Further, ISO-8859-1 is still in, with no justification 
> whatsoever.  If there is to be a default, it should be UTF-8, not a
> "local derivative" like Latin-1.

	As Harald made very clear at the meetings in Montreal, the
group proposing UTF-8 as a target for new standards recognizes the
problems associated with an installed base of clients and servers;
they made very specific exceptions in their recommendations to deal
with that situation, naming HTTP's use of IS-8859-1 as one of those
exceptions.  Larry's language is appropriate for a deployed protocol
and for a reasonable transition.  If you want the group to consider
tightening the language further in later revisions of HTTP 1.1, please
develop a realistic transition plan and submit it as an I.D.  HTTP 1.1
is very far along the road at this point and it is not the place to
consider a sudden, basic shift in assumed character sets.
				Ted Hardie
				NASA Science Internet
Received on Wednesday, 3 July 1996 09:22:44 UTC

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