Re: [www-mling,00154] charset parameter (long)

Larry Masinter (
Tue, 10 Jan 95 03:54:44 EST

I agree with most of what Dan said, but won't repeat my agreement
line-by-line. Just a few quibbles:

>Unfortunately, since charset was reserved for future use, Japanese servers
>had no choice but to serve non-Latin files without a charset parameter!!

Actually, this isn't true. They could have served such files as


and configured Japanese-capable browsers to be able to deal with such

In general, anyone can serve any non-standard files they want, without
pretending they're using the standard format. It isn't that hard, and
keeps you out of trouble later. Not doing so is just laziness, and
current experimental browser implementors (including those playing
with HTML 3.0 but calling it text/html, ahem) should have fingers
waggled at them.

> I think that calling it illegal is more consistent with current
> practice: lots of clients _do_ expect to see latin1. And it's
> consistent with the MIME spec.

Every document I've seen since early web days said that HTML documents
were in ISO Latin 1. So, I count everything else as 'interesting
experiment, but unworkable solution', and call what they are doing
non-compliant with the spec.