detecting character set of an XML doc

Matthew Sergeant (EML) Matthew.Sergeant at
Thu Jun 17 13:18:43 BST 1999

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Dirk Germonpre [SMTP:dirkg at]
> Hello,
> If I'm writing an XML tool, how can I detect what character set is used
> for
> an XML document? I've read that for UTF-16, an encoding signature (xFEFF)
> is used at the beginning of the document. Is there a different encoding
> signature for each character set? 
	Not each "character set" - but each encoding, yes. They all exhibit
different binary signatures, otherwise they would be the same... :)

	> If so, where can I find documentation on this?

	You can start with the XML spec, appendix B (I think it's B)
contains some brief information. Or John Cowan posted a C decoder which
detected the most common ones, or you can find my perl Apache module on
CPAN, which detects the character sets and encoding.


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