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Re: Encoding: Referring people to a list of labels

From: Asmus Freytag <asmusf@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2014 07:31:23 -0800
Message-ID: <52E2874B.6050203@ix.netcom.com>
To: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>, www-international@w3.org
On 1/24/2014 5:55 AM, Richard Ishida wrote:
> Anne, Joshua,
>
> I'm in the process of rewriting an article about character encodings 
> and CSS.  The current version of the article says that, if you for 
> some reason don't use UTF-8 and need to use @charset, you should refer 
> to the IANA list of encodings and choose the preferred label for the 
> encoding you need.
>
> (I know, I know... people would be better off using UTF-8, and will 
> certainly recommend that, but we also want to document what to do in 
> situations where you have to deal with legacy encodings.)
>
> I'm thinking that we should be pointing them to the Encoding spec, 
> rather than the IANA list.

There's a comment there that makes the claim that the list in that spec 
is limited to cases actually needed for legacy. If legacy support is the 
*sole* rationale, then this list is fine.
>
> We could point at 
> http://encoding.spec.whatwg.org/#concept-encoding-get, although there 
> are two issues with that:
>
> 1. that table isn't really intended to provide a list of labels people 
> should use, it maps labels to encodings
>
> 2. the most commonly used label for an encoding, where there are more 
> than one per encoding, is generally not at the top of the list 
> (although it is used for the name of the encoding).
If this is collectively a list of labels that should be implemented, 
then I posit it doesn't matter which label to use. Trying to recommend a 
"preferred" label when you are maintaining a feature for legacy makes 
little sense.

You might give a preferred version of the utf-8 label, so that if 
someone migrates legacy to Unicode while keeping the structure of the 
CSS the same, they arrive at a label that doesn't accidentally appear to 
contradict their intent.
>
> Questions:
>
> Do you agree that it would be useful to be able to point people to a 
> list of encoding labels that they should use for legacy or special 
> situations?
yes - it should encapsulate the acutal legacy - both from what 
implementations used to support and what data are pre-existing.
>
> Should that list be in the Encoding spec?

That list claims to be the correct one for the purpose.
If that claim is not wildly false, then yes.

>
> Should we make a separate list, or can we adapt/annotate the list at 
> http://encoding.spec.whatwg.org/#concept-encoding-get to serve that 
> purpose?

No, only add a preferred label for utf-8

A./
>
> RI
>
>
Received on Friday, 24 January 2014 15:31:48 UTC

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