W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > September 2002

Re: possible bug in the validator?

From: Olivier Thereaux <ot@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2002 09:44:09 +0900
To: Lloyd Wood <l.wood@eim.surrey.ac.uk>
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <20020905004409.GB25212@w3.mag.keio.ac.jp>

On Wed, Sep 04, 2002, Lloyd Wood wrote:
> On Wed, 4 Sep 2002, Liam Quinn wrote:
> >
> > Well, consider a server (such as the original poster's) that transcodes
> > HTML pages on-the-fly according to the capabilities of the client.  It's
> > trivial for the server to set the charset in the HTTP header, but changing
> > a <meta> tag within the HTML document is much more difficult, especially
> > when almost all HTML documents are invalid.
> In your example, how does the server know what charset to transcode
> the page _from_?

Usually, transcoding servers are transcoding proxies, and they take the
charset info from what the previous server sent in the HTTP headers.

Let me note that the "the document knows its charset" VS "the server
knows better" has been a hot topic for years. Yes, there was, a long
time ago, a hot discussion between people wanting HTML documents to have
some info about the charset, which was conflicting with the fact that
HTTP had some charset headers; add to this the fact that many kinds of
documents don't actually "know" their charset, and the problem with
transcoding proxies, and you get the present situation. 

You might like or dislike the decision that has been taken long ago, but
it's a bit late to change it, and I doubt this discussion on the HTML
validator list has any interest (past the "what's the problem" "here's
what the spec says" exchange), and as list maintainer I would like to
ask participants to *not* get lost too far off-topic.

Thank you.
Olivier Thereaux - W3C
http://www.w3.org/People/olivier | http://yoda.zoy.org
Received on Wednesday, 4 September 2002 20:44:11 UTC

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