Re: HTML 2.0 comments (First of two)
Wed, 23 Nov 94 19:22:06 EST

entity names -- are useful because
* they are humanly decipherable, e.g. I know what è means
* they are mnemonic for people who use them only rarely
* they pass through mail gateways and other 7-bit environments.

Probably the thing to do for HTML is to allow a CHARSET parameter in the
HTTP protocol (Mime already allows this to some extent) and to add a
Script and Language attribute to every element, so that I can put a
Hebrew quote in a Greek document, and also specify which script to use to
display Vietnamese text -- the same Unicode characters can be displayed
differently depending on the prevailing Script.

In any case this is not for HTML 2.0, which describes existing practice,
although it must be done pretty soon, and may be appropriate to consider for
HTML 2.1 I think. The HTTP conversation might be sufficient for a browser
to be able to say `I understand ISO 10646' or `I only understand ISO 8859-10'.

Unfortunately, there aren't any freely available Unicode font sets, and
as you point out, implementations are not common. The Microsoft Windows
implementation isn't really sufficient, as it doesn't cope with combining
glyphs properly.


Liam Quin, Manager of Contracting, SoftQuad Inc +1 416 239 4801
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