format nego in HTML/10646?

Terry Allen (
Sat, 6 May 95 10:54:58 EDT

| > If we for some reason said "HTML 2.0 shall use ISO10646 although
| >support for rendering characters beyond the ISO8859-1 subset is not required
| >for minimal complience", this does not mean that most browsers which
| >followed the preceeding rule would suddently be able to display Japanese(for
| >instance).
| Well, they will not by some miracle suddenly have multilingual
| capabilities, but by specifying ISO 10646, we give them official
| permission (as it were) to add such capabilities if they desire to do
| so. By leaving the document character set as ISO 8859-1, we are
| basically disallowing such capabilities (or at least, putting them
| into the "non-standard" category).

Oh, not at all. Every HTML UA is going to have capabilities not
described in the 2.0 spec.

Please, let's get practical.

For example, the point of format negotiation is that clients
get info in formats they can handle, either by advertising what
they accept to servers or by some more complicated means. If
10646 is to be made the HTML document charset, and the MIME (right?)
charset param is to specify some encoding of 10646, how will a server
determine whether my client can render a given HTML doc?
Will my client have to advertise to the server (apologies for the syntax)

Accept [something]: ISO10646(1-255,10001-13001)

Or (to invert the relationship with the server), how does the client
"find out" that it does or doesn't have the resources (fonts) to render
the the HTML doc reasonably (so it can be read by a human with
requisite language skills)?

Terry Allen  (   O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
Editor, Digital Media Group    101 Morris St.
			       Sebastopol, Calif., 95472
occasional column at:

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