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RE: [HTML5] 2.8 Character encodings

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 00:43:23 +0000 (UTC)
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
Cc: "Dr. Olaf Hoffmann" <Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0907310038000.6420@hixie.dreamhostps.com>
On Mon, 20 Jul 2009, Larry Masinter wrote:
> What the document should say, rather than having a 'willful' 
> misinterpretation, is that ISO-8859-1 means ISO-8859-1, but that for 
> backward compatibility with existing (broken) web content, HTTP 
> interpreting agents SHOULD treat characters outside of the ISO-8859-1 
> repertoire as if they were in Windows-1252.

That's exactly what it says, as far as I can tell. Could you elaborate on 
exactly what text in the spec you are objecting to? Maybe I don't 
understand your request.

> This would allow and encourage HTML validators and HTML generation 
> software to use the correct interpretation without a 'willful' disregard 
> for compatibility with other standards and processing agents outside of 
> the scope of the specifications of this committee.

Again, this seems to be exactly what the spec says. In fact it goes 
further than that, and disallows HTML generation software to do anything 
_but_ that, and requires validators to complain about any violation of 
these rules.

> IMHO, the willful disregard for compatibility with other specifications 
> in the current specification reflects a consistent error in judgment.

Could you elaborate on exactly what text in the spec you are referring to?

> I reject as an unsound design principle the notion that merely because 
> there exist some broken web content today that we are forced to encode 
> that broken behavior in HTML forever. Yes, HTML interpreting agents that 
> wish to be compatible with existing content will need to apply some 
> additional constraints and extensions, but it is unnecessary, and poor 
> design, to fail to distinguish between advice to interpreting agents as 
> to backward-compatibility behavior vs. advice to generating and 
> authoring agents as to proper forward-looking behavior.

As far as I can tell, the spec goes to extreme lengths to distinguish in 
the way you describe. If I have made any mistakes in this regard, please 
highlight the relevant text.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Friday, 31 July 2009 00:44:00 UTC

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