IE5.0 does not conform to RFC2376

John Cowan cowan at
Fri Apr 9 17:41:23 BST 1999

Chris Lilley wrote:

> However, I will point out that it is the consensus of the XML 1.0
> Recommendation that I am respecting - and that the RFC does not, by
> altering the meaning of the default encoding. It could have been
> harmionised with the XML REC; it was not.

I do not understand this.  Appendix F plainly (though non-normatively)

# If an XML entity is delivered with a MIME type of text/xml, then
# the charset parameter on the MIME type determines the character
# encoding method; all other heuristics and sources of information
# [including, by implication, the encoding declaration]
# are solely for error recovery.

So saith the RFC as well, and indeed the Rec proclaims that its
rules are only recommendations, and that the RFC controls.
But in fact they do not conflict.

> Redundancy can be good; a
> charset parameter and an XML encoding declaration that say the same
> thing and work the same way, which is what I was suggesting, is good.

Yes, indeed.  Nevertheless, the charset parameter has one
advantage over the encoding declaration: it is guaranteed by MIME
to be in ASCII, and thus always readable.  A document with a
Content-Type of "text/xml;charset=cp-ebcdic-us" can be affirmatively
rejected by a client that does not understand EBCDIC, whereas a
client which has only the encoding declaration may *suppose* that
the document is EBCDIC, based on the Appendix F heuristics, but cannot

John Cowan		cowan at
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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