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RE: i18n Polyglot Markup/in-doc encoding declarations (2nd issue)

From: Eliot Graff <eliotgra@microsoft.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2010 15:12:29 +0000
To: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>, Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
CC: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, "public-i18n-core@w3.org" <public-i18n-core@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CE3A5BFD1228D84A8D9C158EEC195FD50EBC5983@TK5EX14MBXW605.wingroup.windeploy.ntdev.microsoft.com>
The Editor's Draft of 29 September contains the following edit, and I have therefore resolved bug 10150 as fixed.

]]
Note that the W3C Internationalization (i18n) Group recommends to always include a visible encoding declaration in a document, because it helps developers, testers, or translation production managers to check the encoding of a document visually.
[[

I would like to link to a resource for this statement, though. Can you recommend one that's better than the i18n article, "Character encodings" [1]?

Thanks,

Eliot

[1] http://www.w3.org/International/O-charset

-----Original Message-----
From: Leif Halvard Silli [mailto:xn--mlform-iua@målform.no] 
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2010 1:56 PM
To: Richard Ishida
Cc: public-html@w3.org; public-i18n-core@w3.org; Eliot Graff
Subject: i18n Polyglot Markup/in-doc encoding declarations (2nd issue)

I resend my comments, on request from Richard, with on issue per message. This is about the 2nd issue on the i18n group's tracking page: 
http://www.w3.org/International/reviews/1007-polyglot/ 

	Excerpt of the 2nd issue: 

		]] In-document declarations always useful [...] So it's true to say that you strictly don't need it, but we would prefer that people do. 
Please could you reflect that in your document. [[

	Comment: I have long since filed bug 9962 which says that only UTF-8 and UTF-16 should be permitted. (No other  encodings should be allowed, as there are no HTML5-compatible way to  specify them.) And also, there is an on-going debate to limit the encodings to only UTF-8 - see Sam's message and the replies [1]. In the following, I'll assume that only
UTF-8 and UTF-16 are relevant.

For UTF-16, there is no HTML5-compatible way to have an in-document
UTF-16 declaration. At least not as of yet. The i18n group can file a bug against HTML5 to make it valid, of course. Until that day, then your 2nd issue is not relevant w.r.t. UTF-16.

When it comes to UTF-8, then in-document declaration is _necessary_, unless you want to rely on HTTP or BOM. Without BOM, HTTP or meta@charset, the HTML parser will most likely default to WIN-1252 or another locale dependent 8 bit encoding - at least in off-line parsing and other uncontrolled contexts.  Thus I tend to have the opinion that in-document declaration is a requirement for UTF-8.

[1] http://www.w3.org/mid/4C3F56AB.7030105@intertwingly.net
--
leif halvard silli
Received on Friday, 1 October 2010 15:13:15 UTC

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