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re: Determination of Encoding

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997 08:29:41 -0700
Message-Id: <3.0.32.19970616082909.009d6b40@pop.intergate.bc.ca>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
I think the current debate on priorities and policies in encoding
determination is out of place.  The XML-lang spec currently:

 a) suggests strongly that processors use any and all available
    mechanisms to determine the encoding, and 
 b) offers the encoding declaration mechanism to provide authors a
    place to put in-document information on this subject, should that
    be helpful.

It is well-known that transcoding happens, that MIME types often
lie, and that this whole area is problematic.  Also, since there is
no significant installed base of native Unicode documents, there is
no clear lesson from industry practice.

It is uncontroversially good that processors should use whatever
heuristics work in order to figure out document encodings.  It is
controversial, but the result of a strong majority decision, that 
XML-lang should include an in-band signaling mechanism.

I have hear any convincing argument why the spec should try to clean
up this mess single-handed, and why it should say one word more than
it does today.

Cheers, Tim Bray
tbray@textuality.com http://www.textuality.com/ +1-604-708-9592
Received on Monday, 16 June 1997 11:31:33 EDT

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