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Re: Guessing "correct" character set (was: [CSS21] response to issue 115 (and 44))

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2004 14:41:57 -0500
Message-Id: <200402211941.i1LJfvlb008187@department-of-alchemy.mit.edu>
To: Mikko Rantalainen <mira@cc.jyu.fi>
Cc: WWW Style <www-style@w3.org>

> I would suggest following:
> 
> 1) If HTTP header defines character set, then use it
> 2) If HTTP header doesn't define character set, use UTF-8.
> (no more rules)

Not all stylesheets are served over HTTP.  HTTP headers are essentially never
set (and almost never will be).  So you're suggesting that stylesheets must all
be UTF-8.  This is not workable.

Not to mention that your proposal makes it impossible to save a non-UTF-8 sheet
(that worked because of rule 1) and have it work.

As for your suggestion that everyone _should_ in fact just use UTF-8 for
everything, good luck.  You may start by examining the reasons why your website
is not in UTF-8, perhaps?  Then consider the space savings gained by using
other encodings for certain types of content (for which UTF-8 ends up using 6
bytes per char instead of the two bytes or even one byte that other encodings
use).  Consider whether there may not be cases when the space issue may be
significant...

Boris
-- 
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 14:42:02 GMT

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