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A couple of comments on Authoring Techniques

From: François Yergeau <francois@yergeau.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 23:35:21 -0400
To: www-i18n-comments@w3.org
Message-id: <3F877A79.8020101@yergeau.com>

3.2 says "Where practical, declare the page's character encoding by 
setting the charset parameter in the HTTP Content-Type header."

I think this should be just the opposite: servers should shut up and let 
(X)HTML documents speak for themselves.  Several years' experience has 
shown that servers get it wrong much of the time when they bother to set 
charset.  Since this setting has precedence, this really breaks the 
whole thing.  Please recommend that servers *not* set charset, unless 
they have a good reason to do it and actually do it right.

See also the recent thread on the TAG list on this (starting at [1]) as 
well as section 4.9.6 of the Web Architecture WD [2]: "In the case of 
XML, since it is self-describing, it is good practice to omit the 
charset parameter".

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2003Sep/0042.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/WD-webarch-20031001/#xml-media-types


In 4.1, there's an ed. note that says "Describe the evils of using 
<font> to cheat on the charset and represent other scripts."  You may 
want to take a look at my old (1996) rant on this at 

Received on Friday, 10 October 2003 23:41:05 UTC

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