Re: review of "The root element" subsection

On Tue, 10 Jul 2007 11:51:32 +0200, Robert Burns <> wrote:

> My suggestion arose from the concern that the meta element with the  
> charset attribute should be the first element in the head. I'm curious  
> is that how many of the current UAs work? In other words, do current UAs  
> stop at the first meta in searching for encoding hints?

No. It is not a requirement for UAs. The requirements for UAs are:

> [...]
> Second, for setting a value for the encoding that needs to appear early  
> in the document and a value that can be contained as an attribute value,  
> it makes a lot of sense to include that as an attribute on the root  
> element.

Perhaps, but it isn't compatible with existing UAs.

> Pre-parsers will be able to find the value more easily

Not really. They still have to look for encoding information in meta  
elements too. Adding more places they have to look doesn't make it simpler.

> and documents will not face the risk of the the meta element further  
> down in the head.

How does requiring an attribute on the root instead of on a meta element  
that is first child of head reduce the risk of the encoding information  
being in the wrong place?

> Also there will be less author error in placing the meta element in the  
> incorrect order.

How can you tell?

> This is therefore a suggestion for long-term authoring conformance  
> criterion. Obviously it only applies to the text/html serialization. If  
> that's not expected to last for in the long-term, then I think its  
> probably not worth promoting a solution like this.

The benefits seem weak to me compared to the drawbacks (not compatible  
with existing UAs, complicates implementation).

Simon Pieters
Opera Software

Received on Tuesday, 10 July 2007 10:13:28 UTC