W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > February 2004

Re: [CSS21] response to issue 115 (and 44)

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2004 14:23:19 -0500
Message-Id: <200402211923.i1LJNJs0006142@department-of-alchemy.mit.edu>
To: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Cc: "WWW Style" <www-style@w3.org>

> It should also be pointed out, that (at least for HTTP and MIME)
> explicit information in the header is required, otherwise processors
> would never read a BOM or @charset because the encoding already has been
> determined as ISO-8859-1 (HTTP)

But higher-level protocols can override this (as HTML does, eg).

> > 3) If neither the header nor looking for U+FEFF or @charset yield an
> >    it, recursively), then use the encoding of the document (or style
> I am strictly opposed to this rule, it is confusing, it is inconsistent
> with other specification, it is /not implementable/, and it yields in
> inconsistent results. 

Bjoern, why is it not implementable?  Note that currently most browsers _do_ in
fact implement it...  If there are serious issues with implementing this in
some circumstances, could you please clearly describe them?

> >I also omitted the CHARSET parameter of the LINK element in HTML. Is
> >that a problem?
> No, I strongly support leaving it out.

May I ask why?  (I have no really strong opinion here, but this is a source of
out-of-band charset information that page/sheet authors _do_ control, unlike
HTTP headers.)

> I am thus convinced that rejecting style sheets with encoding errors is
>   * much simpler to understand
>   * much simpler to implement
>   * more likely to yield in accessible documents
>   * more secure
>   * more consistent

Unfortunately, it'll also break a large number of real-world websites (eg the
Opera site mentioned earlier in this thread).  :(  But other than that, it does
indeed have many advantages.

> and I want at the very least be explicitly allowed to do that in my
> applications.

Indeed.  I believe that this should definitely be an option for an
implementation, especially one where reporting an error in such cases is
perfectly acceptable (eg an editor, as opposed to a web browser).

God does not play dice with the universe: he plays an
ineffable game of his own devising, which might be
compared, from the perspective of any of the other
players, to being involved in an obscure and complex
version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank
cards, for infinite stakes, with a dealer who won't
tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.

  -- Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of
     Agnes Nutter, Witch, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Received on Saturday, 21 February 2004 14:23:22 UTC

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