W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > March 2001

Re: Character set validation

From: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2001 23:55:08 +0000 (GMT)
To: Kathleen Anderson <kathleen@spiderwebwoman.com>
cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.BSF.4.21.0103042348300.1582-100000@fenris.webthing.com>

OK, this charset problem has been reported by enough people to convince
me there's a bug, and that it's probably not the same as the one I mention
below.  So I'm going to repost my reply to Kathleen from ciwah.

======
> Hi:
> I was directed to this group by http://validator.w3.org/feedback.html
> 
> Does anyone know why this charset:  
> 
> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;
> charset=windows-1252">

You also posted to the validator mailing list, which is probably the best
place for this (I didn't respond there for reasons that should become
apparent in a moment).

Now there are two parts to this:
  (1) The construct you are using is fundamentally nonsense.
  (2) Nevertheless, it is perfectly valid, and what you describe appears
      to be a validator bug.
I'd like to add a third a third part: I recollect fixing a bug in my
own validator (Page Valet) that was triggered by a windows-1252 charset.
Unfortunately I can't recollect enough about this to relate it to
your report, which I'd like to do before replying to the list.

Going back to the main points:
(1) The construct <meta ...> is part of HTML.  Content-Type is an
HTTP header.  If content-type is not text/html, then the document
cannot be treated as HTML, and <meta ...> has no HTML meaning.
If content-type is text/html, then it has already been declared by
the server, and for a browser or other agent to use the <meta ...>
in place of the HTTP header would be illegal.
(2) In view of (1), the validator is wrong to take any notice at all
of your charset declared in <meta ...>.  The fact that this is causing
it to fall over is secondary.  All the validator should do here is
check your syntax, which happens to be correct.

Of course, without a URL, I cannot confirm anything, so this
analysis is purely speculative.
====


-- 
Nick Kew

Is your site a lawsuit waiting to happen?
See <URL:http://valet.webthing.com/intranet/> before it's too late.
Received on Monday, 5 March 2001 04:59:56 GMT

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