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Re: Unicode encoding for web pages

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 16:28:32 +0200
Message-ID: <5150791.20050330162832@w3.org>
To: "Deborah Cawkwell" <deborah.cawkwell@bbc.co.uk>
Cc: www-international@w3.org

On Wednesday, March 30, 2005, 2:45:27 PM, Deborah wrote:

DC> For web pages, would you consider using a Unicode encoding
DC> other than UTF-8, eg UTF-16? If so, why? or why not?
I used to consider that UTF-16 would provide a space saving benefit for
those languages where a single character runs to three or four bytes in
UTF-8. It turns out that if there is a fairly small amount of markup,
this space saving is not seen in practive.

I understand that in well optimised Web Services applications withhigh
throughput, profiling shows that UTF-8 to UTF-16 conversion (eg, to
construct a DOM) can become significant so one would imaging shipping
content in UTF-16 might help there also.

I could not see any particular reason to use UTF-7.

Material where a) random access was a high priority and b) there was
significant usage of characters that would require surrogates, might
indicate that using UCS-4 would be a benefit.

So in general, and particularly for XML where a parser is not required
to understand encodings other than UTF-8 and UTF-16, I see less and less
reason to use anything other than UTF-8.

 Chris Lilley                    mailto:chris@w3.org
 Chair, W3C SVG Working Group
 W3C Graphics Activity Lead
Received on Wednesday, 30 March 2005 14:28:32 UTC

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