Re: Tentative Agenda for IETF meeting

Larry Masinter (
Fri, 2 Dec 94 12:42:39 EST

> The group has agreed that the current usage of HTML 2.0 addresses
> the issue of international character sets rather poorly. However,
> in order to give proper attention to this important issue, we have
> decided to address it in future versions of the spec.

You know, I've come to the conclusion that 'international character
sets' are relatively easy to handle by requiring an additional
"charset" parameter to the "text/html" MIME type. E.g.,

"text/html; charset=unicode-1-1-utf-7" would be a way of saying 'a
HTML document using unicode' (as per RFC 1642), while "text/html;
charset=iso-2022-kr" would identify a HTML document that uses the
Hangul encoding scheme for Korean as per RFC 1557. The default charset
depends on the transport mechanism; for HTTP, the default might well
be "text/html; iso-8859-1".

I'm considering proposing in the HTTP working group adding a
"Accept-charset: " header for clients to send to servers which
charsets (other than US-ASCII and ISO-8859-1) that they are willing to
accept; of course, it is mandatory that servers identify the charset
of any text/* document which isn't the default; however, this is no
longer a HTML issue.