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Re: Always reliable identification is a chimaera

From: Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 11:28:42 +0900
Message-Id: <>
To: cmsmcq@acm.org (C. M. Sperberg-McQueen), www-i18n-comments@w3.org
Cc: w3c-i18n-ig@w3.org

Hello Michael,

Many thanks for your comment.

The intent here was not to say 'always reliably identified
even if people make errors' but 'always reliably identified
assuming that the mechanism is used correctly'.

I think it is the assumption in most specs that things only
work if they are used according to the spec, so we didn't
bother to add this clarification. Literally adding
'assuming that the mechanism is used correctly' would
probably sound somewhat like overkill. Do you have any
idea of how to avoid misunderstandings without stating
something that is in some way too obvious?

Regards,    Martin.

At 11:06 02/07/12 +0900, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen wrote:

>This is a last call comment from C. M. Sperberg-McQueen (cmsmcq@acm.org) on
>the Character Model for the World Wide Web 1.0
>Semi-structured version of the comment:
>Submitted by: C. M. Sperberg-McQueen (cmsmcq@acm.org)
>Submitted on behalf of (maybe empty):
>Comment type: substantive
>Chapter/section the comment applies to: 3.6 Choice and Identification of 
>Character Encodings
>The comment will be visible to: public
>Comment title: Always reliable identification is a chimaera
>The requirement "[S] Specifications MUST either specify a unique encoding,
>or provide character encoding identification mechanisms such that the
>encoding of text can always be reliably identified" is, I think, too
>strong.  I do not believe that any identification mechanism can
>ALWAYS guarantee the correct identification of an encoding; if I am
>right, this requirement guarantees that no specification ever written
>has ever conformed, and no specification will ever conform, to the
>character model specification.  Malicious users, incompetent users,
>ignorance or indifference on the part of those responsible for servers,
>and transcoders which understandably do not touch the internal labels
>on the data they transcode, can combine to defeat any labeling or
>encoding-identification scheme ever devised.  Even the W3C server
>has been known, from time to time, to serve documents with the wrong
>character-encoding identification.
>Please weaken this requirement so that it is achievable, or else XML
>1.1 and every other spec now under development by the W3C will be
>blocked by this unrealistic counsel of perfection.  The identification
>mechanisms of XML 1.0 are pretty good, if I say so myself.  But they
>do not come close to meeting the requirement stated here.  I think
>you've set the bar too high.
Received on Friday, 12 July 2002 23:51:56 UTC

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