multiple encoding specs (Re: IE5.0 does not conform to RFC2376)

John Cowan cowan at
Sun Apr 11 04:57:30 BST 1999

Chris Lilley scripsit:

> > There is no way to fail to specify a charset in
> > text/* documents, and rightly so, because text without a charset
> > is uninterpretable.
> This is disingeneous; both clauses are true, but the second one implies
> that there is no other method of conveying the information, which,
> clearly, there is.

If you know the text is XML, then you can determine the charset by
Appendix F methods; but if "text/xml" is just "text/*" to you, then
you must be able to rely on the (possibly minimized) charset
parameter in the media type, because if there is no charset,
the text/* is, as I said, uninterpretable.

> So
> a) There is no way to fail to specify a charset in text/* documents
> But it does not have to be explicit. It can be implied.  good way of
> formalising that implication would be to refer to the rules in the XML
> 1.0 Recommendation.

I meant that if you are processing a MIME document, as long as you
know its major type is "text", you can always determine the charset.
There is either an explicit charset parameter, or the implicit
charset of either "US-ASCII" or "ISO-8859-1" depending on the
underlying transport protocol.

John Cowan					cowan at
		e'osai ko sarji la lojban.

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