Re: Thanks a lot

Vix wrote:

> Just for curiosity.
> Did anyone receive a reply to this email from
> I searched all the emails on this topic and I couldn't find one.
> If you have one, please forward it to me.
> I am really interested in seeing what w3 people have to say about this.
> Thanks and cheers,
> Vix!

Yes, I received a reply from Martin Duerst at It's quoted below.


Martin Duerst wrote:
 > At 05:49 01/12/03 -0500, Frank Tiggelaar wrote:
 > >Over the past year we have taken great care to validate all new pages
 > >and pages on our site which were changed in any way. We added the small
 > >W3C logo to all of the pages we validated. Recently we found out that
 > >none of the pages which validated some time ago are validated today -
 > >suddenly 'character encoding' has become required.
 > Yes indeed. Please note that this is not a case of W3C insisting
 > on some ivory theory (that iso-8859-1 is the HTTP default), but
 > on an actual practical situation.
 > From:
 >  >>>>
 > The HTTP protocol ([RFC2616], section 3.7.1) mentions ISO-8859-1 as a
 > default character encoding when the "charset" parameter is absent from
 > the "Content-Type" header field. In practice, this recommendation has
 > proved useless because some servers don't allow a "charset" parameter
 > to be sent, and others may not be configured to send the parameter.
 > Therefore, user agents must not assume any default value for the
 > "charset" parameter.
 > <<<<
 > If user agents must not assume a default value for the charset
 > parameter (and all the important user agents conform to this
 > requirement), then why should the validator (which is supposed
 > to check much better than the browsers) assume a default value?
 > >We think this amounts to moving the goalposts during the game and our
 > >confidence in the w3c validation setup has completely gone.
 > In this case, it mainly amounts to fixing some internationalization
 > aspects of the validator. Such a fix was due for a long time.
 > Also, do you assume that if we find an error in the validator
 > and fix it, we should continue to claim that non-valid documents
 > are actually valid? Would you and everybody else be happy if
 > we did this?
 > In the case of the 'charset' parameter, this is of course not
 > a problem of validity or not, it's information that has to be
 > known *before* the actual validation can take place. Some pages
 > can become valid or invalid depending on the 'charset'.
 > Also, please note that we have done the same for DOCTYPE
 > declarations; before, we did some guessing that wasn't
 > described in any spec, now you either have a DOCTYPE, or
 > you don't get validated.
 > >Therefore we stopped validating our pages; we shall remove all 7,000
 > >little W3c-validated logos from our websites.
 > It would have been much easier to add a line or so of directives
 > to your Apache server setup. And that would also have improved
 > worldwide access to and readability of your site.
 > Regards,    Martin.

Received on Wednesday, 12 December 2001 03:41:38 UTC