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Re: Accept-Charset support

From: Klaus Weide <kweide@tezcat.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 20:26:00 -0600 (CST)
To: Koen Holtman <koen@win.tue.nl>
Cc: http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com, www-international@w3.org
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.95.961216195237.27832C-100000@huitzilo.tezcat.com>
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/2091
On Sat, 14 Dec 1996, Koen Holtman wrote:
> Klaus Weide:
> >
> >On Sun, 8 Dec 1996, Koen Holtman wrote:
> >> 
> >> Overloading a HTTP header and adding HTML tags will take _much_ more time
> >> than waiting for feature negotiation to be in place.
> >
> >Let's hope so :).  However, with overloading I meant treating 
> >{Content,Accept}-Language headers (and related HTML tags or attributes)
> >as carrying character repertoire meaning - which is happening now. 
>                                             ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Interesting.  That seems like a very strange thing to do.
> Who is doing this and why?  Could you give a pointer?

Examples where "Language" is treated as carrying charset meaning
(not just repertoire, but "charset" including encoding):

Pages that do the poor-man's negotiation of letting the user select
a "language" manually, than return a page whose charset may vary 
depending on the language choice.
   <URL: http://www.alis.com/internet_products/language.en.html>
   <URL: http://www.accentsoft.com/>
   <URL: http://www.dkuug.dk/maits/>   

Another example, which does "real" (automatic) negotiation:
   <URL: http://www.dkuug.dk:81/maits/summary>
(For example, with "accept-language: el, en" you get Greek in iso-8859-7
- even when also sending an "accept-charset" which excludes iso-8859-7.)

As for cases where *-Language (or <LANG> etc.) would be used to 
distinguish between sub-repertoires of Unicode - well I tried to find
some examples, but couldn't.  Possible reasons are (1) my search was
not extensive (or systematic) enough, (2) they don't exist [yet],
(3) there aren't many UTF (or 10646) pages now, (4) there aren't many
truly multilingual pages now (with more than one language requiring
more-than-USASCII).  Also the UTF and multilingual pages I found are
experimental or for demonstration purposes, so they don't really bother
right now about supporting browsers which might be less endowed - the
intentions rather seems to be to demonstrate "You need _this_ browser
[from us] to see this!".  

My impression that informal overloading of *-Language with charset
meaning is (for some) regarded as an acceptable practice derives from
recent messages to the www-international list, were it was argued that
this is OK because it covers the "common" and "regualar" case - see e.g.

and more generally

Received on Monday, 16 December 1996 18:28:37 UTC

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