changes to HTML draft re: character sets

Larry Masinter (
Mon, 16 Jan 95 04:01:36 EST

I had a few comments back on the proposed changes. I'm still fuzzy,
though, on what the process is for actually getting the draft edited.
Can someone remind me as to who is editing what?

The main technical issue (outside of some comments on confusing
wording) is whether the HTML 2.0 spec will say what values for
"charset" are acceptable. I'm assuming that we are going to
explicitly follow section 7.1.1 of RFC1521.TXT, namely:

The specification for any future subtypes of "text" must specify
whether or not they will also utilize a "charset" parameter, and may
possibly restrict its values as well. When used with a particular
body, the semantics of the "charset" parameter should be identical to
those specified here for "text/plain", i.e., the body consists
entirely of characters in the given charset. In particular, definers
of future text subtypes should pay close attention the the
implications of multibyte character sets for their subtype

In this case, the text/html type being defined utilizes a "charset"
parameter. Rather than restricting its value, we can avoid limiting
the value of the charset parameter but note that the allowable values
for "charset" may be limited by the context. This pushes the WWW
problem to HTTP-WG, and makes HTML 2.0 neutral on the issue. (That
is, the spec is compatible with current practice but also describes a
legal extension mechanism for going beyond current practice.)