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Re: proposed HTTP changes for charset

From: Roy T. Fielding <fielding@liege.ICS.UCI.EDU>
Date: Wed, 03 Jul 1996 14:54:44 -0700
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <9607031454.aa08155@paris.ics.uci.edu>
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/1018
> The current HTTP/1.1 spec:
>> The "charset" parameter is used with some media types to define the
>> character set (section 3.4) of the data. When no explicit charset
>> parameter is provided by the sender, media subtypes of the "text" type
>> are defined to have a default charset value of "ISO-8859-1" when
>> received via HTTP. Data in character sets other than "ISO-8859-1" or its
>> subsets MUST be labeled with an appropriate charset value.
> I sent a proposed revision, but I see that my proposal had some
> problems. Taking a suggested rewording from Harald and an addition
> from Keith, and working on the wording for a while, I've come up with
> the following revised proposal, which is that we LEAVE the above
> paragraph and add the following note:
> # Some HTTP/1.0 servers have sent a Content-Type header of a subtype
> # "text", without a charset parameter, to mean "recipient should
> # guess".  This is inappropriate behavior, and HTTP/1.1 servers MUST
> # NOT omit the charset parameter of text media unless the charset of
> # the data is ISO-8859-1 (or the US-ASCII subset).
> #
> # Unfortunately, some older HTTP/1.0 clients unfortunately did not
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^                              ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> # deal properly with an explicit charset parameter.  Senders MAY
> # include a charset= parameter even when the charset is ISO-8859-1;
> # doing so is RECOMMENDED when it is known that it will not confuse
> # the recipient.  HTTP/1.1 recipients MUST respect the charset label
> # provided by the sender; those user agents that have a provision to
> # "guess" a charset MUST use the charset from the content-type field
> # if they support that charset, rather than the recipient's
> # preference, when initially displaying a document.

Aside from the doubly-unfortunate unfortunately and the unnecessary "=",
that is fine with me.

 ...Roy T. Fielding
    Department of Information & Computer Science    (fielding@ics.uci.edu)
    University of California, Irvine, CA 92717-3425    fax:+1(714)824-4056
Received on Wednesday, 3 July 1996 15:16:51 UTC

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