W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > June 2003

Re: default charset broken

From: Terje Bless <link@pobox.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Jun 2003 18:07:00 +0200
To: W3C Validator <www-validator@w3.org>
cc: Kjetil Torgrim Homme <kjetilho@ifi.uio.no>
Message-ID: <f02000001-1026-122AF636990211D7B1DF0030657B83E8@[]>

Hash: SHA1

Kjetil Torgrim Homme <kjetilho@ifi.uio.no> wrote:

>|The HTTP protocol ([RFC2616], section 3.7.1) mentions ISO-8859-1 as a
>|default character encoding when the "charset" parameter is absent from
>|the "Content-Type" header field. In practice, this recommendation has
>|proved useless
>it is not a RECOMMENDATION, it is a REQUIREMENT ("are defined to" -- no
>leeway there).
>|because some servers don't allow a "charset" parameter to be sent, and
>|others may not be configured to send the parameter. Therefore, user
>|agents must not assume any default value for the "charset" parameter.
>so therefore this reasoning doesn't apply.  you can't ignore a
>requirement out of hand.

You're splitting hairs. It's clear what the authors of the HTML 4
Recommendation intended and what that paragraph is intended to mean.
Reinterpreting it to fit your conclusion doesn't alter that.

>I'll reiterate: when it comes to specifying how HTTP works, the HTTP
>RFC trumps the HTML spec.

Says who? Even within the IETF you'd have trouble making that stick. You could
argue that the passage be dropped from the HTML Rec -- in errata or during
specification -- on the grounds that the HTML WG has no business overriding
the HTTP WG (I have several recent examples of that from USEFOR vs. MESSFOR);
but once it's published (as a Rec or an RFC) the requirement stands until and
unless it is revoked by errata or update.

- -- 
If you believe that will stop spammers, you're sadly misled. Rusty hooks,
rectally administered fuel oil enemas, and the gutting of their machines,
*that* stops spammers!                                         -- Saundo

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Received on Saturday, 7 June 2003 12:07:04 UTC

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