IE5.0 does not conform to RFC2376

David Brownell db at
Mon Apr 5 05:48:12 BST 1999

> > > > > What this RFC appears to do is remove author control over correctly
> > > > > labelling the encoding, and ensure that most if not all XML documents
> > > > > get incorrectly labelled as US-ASCII.
> > > >
> > > > Not at all.  The best default MIME content type for all web
> > > > servers is "application/xml".
> > >
> > > Why? Do you consider anything not written in US-ASCII as a text
> > > document? I think the Unicode Consortium would disagree with you there.
> >
> > No, and that's not what I said:
> But it is the implication of your argument.

How could it imply that?  I didn't even talk about what "text" is,
only about what MIME guarantees.  And MIME only talks about what some
specific content/media type categories mean, not about what "text" is.
(I certainly hope you see how those are different!)

See RFC 2046 and the discussion in section 4.1.2 for further information.
It says eight bit or multibyte encoded "text/*" "MUST" use a "charset=..."
property, which you seem to dislike; perhaps you were unaware that MIME
has fundamental constraints in this area.  RFC 2376 is being compatible
with this fundamental Internet standard, which IMHO is the right idea.

> > For a single world-wide default; that's easily understood by overworked,
> > underpaid, often untrained sysadmins; and hence is NOT error prone (!!),
> > there's a simple answer that's guaranteed to work right everywhere that
> > pays more than lip service to industry standards, and hence is "best".
> > Namely, that servers report XML documents as "application/xml".

That requires _no conclusions_ about what is or is not "text".
It only says that encoded text is most likely to be dealt with in
the correct way if people label XML text as "application/xml".

- Dave

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