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RE: Character set question

From: Bertilo Wennergren <bertilow@hem.passagen.se>
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 18:51:33 +0100
To: <www-validator@w3.org>
Message-ID: <HBECLJECMMGNJGANOJEPCEAJCEAA.bertilow@hem.passagen.se>
Kathleen Anderson:

> Could someone explain, in layperson's terms, if using <meta 
> http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1"> is 
> preferred over <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; 
> charset=windows-1252">

Yes.

> If so, why?

"iso-8859-1" is, as the name shows, an ISO standard, while
"windows-1252" is, as the name indicates, a Microsoft thingy. On
the web, where the clients could be on any system, not necessarily
Windows, a standard code is to be preferred.

In reality windows-1252 has very wide support even outside of
Microsoft products, but iso-8859-1, being actually a subset
of windows-1252, has even more support, and is thus a safer
bet.

Actually coding anything outside of ASCII as "&#decimal_number;"
and declaring the "charset" as "utf-8", preferrably in the
http-header, is the safest bet of all. That can hardly fail
at all. (The "utf-8" declaration is not really necessary, but
it will help circumvent bugs in Netscape 4, and it is not wrong.)

#####################################################################
                          Bertilo Wennergren
                  <http://purl.oclc.org/net/bertilo>
                         <bertilow@chello.se>
#####################################################################
 
Received on Wednesday, 7 March 2001 12:48:53 GMT

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