[whatwg] Custom elements and attributes

Elliotte Harold elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Sun Nov 5 18:30:03 PST 2006

Sander Tekelenburg wrote:
> At 08:17 -0500 UTC, on 2006-11-05, Elliotte Harold wrote:
> [...]
>> The specific problem is that an author may publish a correctly labeled
>> UTF-8 or ISO-8859-8 document or some such. However the server sends a
>> Content-type header that requires the parser to treat the document as
>> ISO-8859-1 or US-ASCII or something else.
> Exactly in what sense would it be "correctly labelled" then?

In the internal sense. I.e. the author uploads an HTML document with the 
right META element or an XML document with the right encoding 
declaration, but the server ignores it.

>> The need is for server administrators to allow content authors to
>> specify content types and character sets for the documents they write.
> Absolutely, yes. And my impression is that that's mostly the case already.
> With Apache they can typically configure their part of the server through
> .htaccess. Alternatively, if they use something like PHP, they can use that
> to generate the proper HTTP header. Both are relatively common knowledge
> amongst reasonably professional Web authors these days. For things like
> blogs, the engine behind it can ensure proper Content-Type headers be
> generated.

There are still a lot of servers out there that disallow .htaccess or 
any equivalent, especially for low-level personal sites.

> The only room I see for a HTML spec to say something about this is that you
> could have it require that both [1] authors provide an appropriate META
> HTTP-EQUIV Content-Type and [2] servers use that to generate an appropriate
> HTTP Content-Type header. That's how, I'm told, this META HTTP-EQUIV was
> meant to work initially. But in practice (almost?) no webservers do this, and
> thus the insertion of a META HTTP-EQUIV often leads to situations with 2
> conflicting Content-Type claims. So if you add such a requirement to the HTML
> 5 spec, you'll need make sure that server authors are on your side.

The W3C is working on this one more broadly than just HTML right now.

Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Java I/O 2nd Edition Just Published!

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