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unicode meta tag, http header

If Http headers specify the character encoding, what is the point of
the Meta tag specifying it?
Jul 20 '05 #1
30 4859
On 8 Jul 2004 10:04:14 -0700, Anon <q_***********@ yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
If Http headers specify the character encoding, what is the point of
the Meta tag specifying it?

It's literally an HTTP-EQUIV. In cases like a free webspace, where you
cannot modify the actual headers, this is an equivalent. Doing it
server-level is preferable.
Jul 20 '05 #2
Anon wrote:
If Http headers specify the character encoding, what is the point of
the Meta tag specifying it?


1) As an inferior method of specifying it for people who can't or won't
get their server to send proper HTTP headers.

2) Because some authoring tool excreted this code into the crappy HTML
it created.

3) Because the page author saw other pages using it and mindlessly
imitated them in cargo-cult manner.

4) Because the page needs to be used in non-HTTP contexts, such as being
browsed locally on a hard disk or CD-ROM, or uploaded to be validated,
where no HTTP headers are present so the META tag must do, inferior as
it may be.

What's really fun is when a page is served with contradictory
information in the HTTP headers and its META tag; in that case, some
browsers (e.g., Mozilla) follow the standards properly and respect the
HTTP headers, ignoring the contradictory META information, while others
(e.g., MSIE) do the opposite, leading to pages that seem to "work" in
one browser but come out garbled in others.
Jul 20 '05 #3
Neal wrote:
On 8 Jul 2004 10:04:14 -0700, Anon <q_***********@ yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
If Http headers specify the character encoding, what is the point of
the Meta tag specifying it?


It's literally an HTTP-EQUIV. In cases like a free webspace, where you
cannot modify the actual headers, this is an equivalent. Doing it
server-level is preferable.


Of course, it also stays if the page is saved if it's in a META element.

Sometimes there isn't a server (e.g. html files on a CD) so it should be
used there.

--
Matt
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Jul 20 '05 #4
"Daniel R. Tobias" <da*@tobias.nam e> wrote:
What's really fun is when a page is served with contradictory
information in the HTTP headers and its META tag; in that case, some
browsers (e.g., Mozilla) follow the standards properly and respect
the HTTP headers, ignoring the contradictory META information, while
others (e.g., MSIE) do the opposite, leading to pages that seem to
"work" in one browser but come out garbled in others.


Are you sure? We know that MSIE violates the HTTP protocol, but does it
do that in this respect? It seems to me that IE 6 correctly gives
preference to the charset parameter in an actual HTTP header, when such a
header is in conflict with a corresponding META tag.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html

Jul 20 '05 #5
On Thu, 8 Jul 2004, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
"Daniel R. Tobias" <da*@tobias.nam e> wrote:
What's really fun is when a page is served with contradictory
information in the HTTP headers and its META tag; in that case, some
browsers (e.g., Mozilla) follow the standards properly and respect
the HTTP headers, ignoring the contradictory META information, while
others (e.g., MSIE) do the opposite, leading to pages that seem to
"work" in one browser but come out garbled in others.


Are you sure? We know that MSIE violates the HTTP protocol, but does it
do that in this respect?


The last browser which I recall to have been violating the specified
priority order in this regard was Netscape 4.* in its earlier
versions; but that was corrected at some point, and was then
OK on later versions.

As this has been a special interest of mine for a considerable time, I
*think* I'd have been aware of any IE version which got it wrong.
(Although the little grey cells aren't so good as they used to be...)

(There -have- been some oddities of IE behaviour in the reload/refresh
area.)
Jul 20 '05 #6
Alan J. Flavell wrote:
As this has been a special interest of mine for a considerable time, I
*think* I'd have been aware of any IE version which got it wrong.
(Although the little grey cells aren't so good as they used to be...)


Try these pages:
http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/deci...2001-0915.html
http://www.quicktopic.com/25/D/cD8dwc52A3p.html
http://www.25hoursaday.com/draft-oba...scheme-01.html

They all have contradictory HTTP and meta information regarding their
character encoding. When I tried them in Mozilla, they were rendered in
accordance with their HTTP-announced character encoding, which caused
some gibberish to appear scattered throughout the document where
characters were intended to be which were actually encoded in the manner
suggested by the meta tag. However, MSIE rendered all of these
documents "correctly" (in the DWIM sense, not the standards-compliant one).

--
== Dan ==
Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/
Dan's Web Tips: http://webtips.dan.info/
Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dan.info/
Jul 20 '05 #7
On 8 Jul 2004, Anon wrote:
Subject: unicode meta tag, http header
Why "unicode"?
If Http headers specify the character encoding, what is the point of
the Meta tag specifying it?


I wonder what's the point of specifying a nonsense <meta charset> in
these examples from Google's cache:
<http://google.com/search?q=cache: www.unics.uni-hannover.de/nhtcapri/cyrillic.win>
<http://google.com/search?q=cache: www.unics.uni-hannover.de/nhtcapri/greek.html7>

Google is getting sicker and sicker. They are more concerned about
useless mirrors in other countries (see sig) than about indexing
non-Latin-1 documents correctly.

--
No longer evil: http://www.google.com.ly

Jul 20 '05 #8
On Thu, 8 Jul 2004, Daniel R. Tobias wrote:
Try these pages:
OK, I'm looking at this one:
http://www.quicktopic.com/25/D/cD8dwc52A3p.html They all have contradictory HTTP and meta information regarding their
character encoding.
This one has ISO-8859-1 on the HTTP header, and utf-8 in the meta, and
is evidently really in utf-8.
When I tried them in Mozilla, they were rendered in
accordance with their HTTP-announced character encoding,
Confirmed. (Win Moz 1.7).
However, MSIE rendered all of these documents "correctly"
Perhaps "as intended" is a clearer way of putting it, since
your "correctly" means "not to specification".
(in the DWIM sense, not the standards-compliant one).


Not here. I'm seeing the same clutter as on Mozilla. And
View->Encoding shows "Western European (ISO)". This is Win IE6 (with
current security fixes applied).

If I manually set the encoding to utf-8, then it looks as intended.
But if I reload, the encoding reverts to iso-8859-1. I'd say that
(for all its other faults) this IE is performing to specification in
this respect.

Jul 20 '05 #9
JRS: In article <61************ **************@ posting.google. com>, seen
in news:comp.infos ystems.www.authoring.html, Anon
<q_***********@ yahoo.co.uk> posted at Thu, 8 Jul 2004 10:04:14 :
If Http headers specify the character encoding, what is the point of
the Meta tag specifying it?


(a) There may be no HTTP headers, for example if the file is displayed
locally without using a server;

(b) The HTTP headers may not be under author control, for example in
sites such as mine;

(c) It is more logical to have the meaning of a file depend only on what
is within the file, and not on auxiliary variable data.

Accepted practice may, of course, differ.

--
John Stockton, Surrey, UK. ?@merlyn.demon. co.uk DOS 3.3, 6.20; Win98.
Web <URL:http://www.merlyn.demo n.co.uk/> - FAQqish topics, acronyms & links.
PAS EXE TXT ZIP via <URL:http://www.merlyn.demo n.co.uk/programs/00index.htm>
My DOS <URL:http://www.merlyn.demo n.co.uk/batfiles.htm> - also batprogs.htm.
Jul 20 '05 #10

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