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   Re: IE5.0 does not conform to RFC2376

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  • From: David Brownell <db@eng.sun.com>
  • To: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
  • Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 13:24:44 -0800

One lesson:  most web servers should default to using the
"application/xml" MIME content type, not "text/xml"!

Chris Lilley wrote:
> What this RFC appears to do is remove author control over correctly
> labelling the encoding, and ensure that most if not all XML documents
> get incorrectly labelled as US-ASCII.

Not at all.  The best default MIME content type for all web
servers is "application/xml".  Without a "charset=Big5" or
similar declaration, then the XML processor's autodetection
kicks in ... minimally handling UTF-8 and UTF-16, and quite
commonly handling a variety of additional encodings.

For example, Sun's XML processor handles about 140 encodings
at last count ... and _does_ conform to RFC 2376.

> So, this RFC removes at a stroke the possibility of authors correctly
> labelling the encoding of their XML documents and takes us back to that
> dark time (the present) when the majority of, say, Japanese Web content
> was mis-labelled. And it seems to have done this simply to save a very
> small part of coding effort for people writing transcoders.

Again, no it doesn't.  The idea is to get the web server to
attach the correct MIME content type, which is NOT "text/xml"
in many/most cases.  Authors must rely on the administrator
not breaking their content, and this is part of it.

- Dave

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