W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > December 2002

Re: flakey charset detection

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 23:23:59 +0000 (GMT)
To: David Brownell <david-b@pacbell.net>
Cc: "www-validator@w3.org" <www-validator@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0212042317420.14680-100000@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

On Wed, 4 Dec 2002, David Brownell wrote:
>>> I think META charset info in XHTML could rarely be anything except
>>>trouble.
>> 
>> Indeed, but per the spec, it's valid and in XHTML UAs expected to take
>> effect (XHTML 1.1 normatively references HTML 4.01 for its semantics).
> 
> Semantics of "elements and attributes" only ... so I'd expect META
> to work if anyone made the mistake of using it.  I didn't say it
> shouldn't work, only that it'd be a bad idea to rely on it.  Ever.

Agreed.


>>> More have found that using anything _except_ text/html is completely
>>> unworkable.
>> 
>> There is another option, one which seems to be often overlooked.
>> Use HTML 4.01.
> 
> Not an option when the goal is to use XML-only toolsets to
> read and write the content.  That's why it can be overlooked.

It is very much an option even in the rare case of the toolset being
decided before the final output format. Firstly, there have been SGML
tools since before XML existed, and secondly, XML tools are quite capable
of outputting HTML 4.01; I have done this myself on multiple occasions.

In any case, the huge majority of people writing XHTML and sending it as
text/html are _not_ doing so because of poorly designed tool sets, so this
argument does not apply in the common case.


I note you did not respond to my request to point out the mistakes,
internal inconsistencies, and biases that you said were in my document.
Should I assume you couldn't find any on a closer reading?

-- 
Ian Hickson                                      )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
"meow"                                          /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
http://index.hixie.ch/                         `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Wednesday, 4 December 2002 18:24:01 GMT

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