Re: HTML/SGML/charsets

Dan Connolly (
Fri, 31 Mar 95 12:58:30 EST

Eric W. Sink writes:
> We all agree that we should be SGML conformant. However, I believe that
> HTML is an application for the Internet first, and an SGML application
> second.

HTML is an internet media type and an application of SGML. It is
irrelevant which is "first." They do not conflict.

> Terry, your recollection of the WG's decision on the charset issue does not
> match mine. You and I were both at the San Jose meeting. I believe that
> the minutes show that we agreed that the MIME specification of the charset
> overrides SGML's specification.

They're orthogonal: MIME says how to map octets to characters. SGML says
how to parse the charcters. (the HTML spec goes on to say how an HTML
user agent should deal with the parse tree...)

> This is a very simple issue, but very hard to choose. We will either be
> slightly incompatible with SGML, or we will be slightly incompatible with
> MIME. I believe we made the decision to choose the former. Am I recalling
> this incorrectly?

I don't know what you're recalling, but I wish you'd be more specific
in how you believe they conflict. I hope the draft I'm polishing
up will make it clear that they don't. Stay tuned...