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Re: Re: Guessing the fallback encoding from the top-level domain name before trying to guess from the browser localization

From: John Cowan <cowan@mercury.ccil.org>
Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2014 14:11:50 -0500
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@hsivonen.fi>
Cc: "www-international@w3.org" <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20140103191150.GF7328@mercury.ccil.org>
Henri Sivonen scripsit:

> True. As seen in Firefox telemetry, the most common case is overriding
> the encoding of a labeled page. But it's unclear how much that really
> helps, considering that the next most common case is overriding a
> previous override (i.e. the previous attempt at overriding evidently
> was not successful).

Well, sure.  When the encoding is obviously wrong, you have to guess
which one to try next, and it's not too surprising that the first guess
is often wrong.  Some people can readily figure out from the details of
the mojibake what the underlying encoding is, but that probably isn't
a widespread ability.

> Outside developer tools that allow arbitrary DOM editing browsers don't
> provide user override UI except for two classes of authoring error:
> bogus character encodings and bogus TLS certificates.

Not surprising, considering that bogus character encodings can make
the document completely illegible, and bogus certificates make it

> And for both of these, there is already a way for the author to remove
> the override UI (BOM and HSTS, respectively).

That doesn't help any when the document is frozen, which probably the
vast majority of documents on the Web are.

> There's a vast variety of other kinds of authoring errors for which
> everyone seems to accept that browsers don't provide UI for users to
> repair severe authoring errors. That is, not providing UI for fixing
> authoring errors is the norm.

What are examples of errors which either completely suppress display or
make it completely illegible?  Note that not even a text-mode browser,
which is quite useful for getting the gist of broken documents, can
recover from bad encodings.

> (Chrome already buries it so deep in the submenus that one has to
> wonder if it's worthwhile to have UI that's so hidden away from users.)

I don't understand this claim.  It's under Hamburger/Tools, and just as
accessible as View Source, Extensions Manager, and Create Application
Shortcuts, at least the last two of which are obviously intended for
occasional use by users.

John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>             http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
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all-around initiative to drive up the bottom-line. --Alex Papadimoulis
Received on Friday, 3 January 2014 19:12:14 UTC

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