Disturbing IE 4.0pp2 behavior for lang="en"

E. Stephen Mack (estephen@emf.net)
Fri, 22 Aug 1997 01:36:05 -0700


Message-Id: <3.0.3.32.19970822013605.00f71474@emf.net>
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 1997 01:36:05 -0700
To: www-html@w3.org
From: "E. Stephen Mack" <estephen@emf.net>
Subject: Disturbing IE 4.0pp2 behavior for lang="en"

I was testing the new HTML 4.0 entities in IE 4.0 pp2.
Here's a fragment of a test document:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0//EN">
<HTML LANG="EN">
<HEAD>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" value="text/html; charset='UTF-8'">
<TITLE>Background Color Name Test</TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
&radic;
&beta;
</BODY>
</HTML>

First, IE 4.0 does not automatically pick the UTF-8 font to
display the entities.  Instead, the viewer must manually pick
the font using View | Font | Universal Alphabet (UTF-8).

Second, the presence of the LANG="EN" attribute overrides the
manual font choice.  IE 4.0 pp2 will refuse to display the entities
using the UTF font, unless the LANG attribute is removed.

It's my understanding that specifying a language with the LANG
attribute should *NOT* have an influence over the character
encoding that is picked to display the document, is that right?

If so, I will forward this as a bug to Microsoft.  I think it's
important that authors be able to follow HTML 4.0's recommended
practice of specifying the language with the LANG attribute without
losing any entity support.

Furthermore, I think it's erroneous for IE and Navigator to not
choose the correct font to display the document given the explicit
Content-Type header.  Viewers of a page should not have to pick
an appropriate font manually.

                              *  *  *

Navigator 4.02 does not display the new named entities.  As
mentioned earlier here, it would be trivial for Navigator to implement
at least a few of them (like &trade;) but even the very latest
version for Windows 95, 4.02 (which was released just last week)
still has no support for any of these entities.

I'm surprised that Netscape has made *ZERO* progress towards
implementing HTML 4.0.  Navigator 4.02 has no new features over
Navigator 4.01a or 4.01.  It still has a massive number of CSS
bugs, and basic CSS features are not implemented.  They did fix
at least one bug, however: an @import rule in a style sheet
will no longer hang the browser (although imported style sheet
rules do not seem to be followed).
-- 
E. Stephen Mack <estephen@emf.net>    http://www.emf.net/~estephen/