Charset

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Tony Cooper, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. Tony Cooper

    Tony Cooper Guest

    When I "view source" of webpages, I often see information like
    "charset=windows-xxxx". I understand that "charset" is an identifier
    to specify font characters, but how does the writer know what charset
    to specify?

    If the charset is not identified, what is are the possible results
    assuming the page is to be viewed only in the US and is a
    non-commercial page for casual use?
    Tony Cooper, Feb 23, 2004
    #1
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  2. Tony Cooper <> wrote:

    > When I "view source" of webpages, I often see information like
    > "charset=windows-xxxx".


    Probably in meta tags. Proprietary authoring software tends to spit out
    tags that specify proprietary encodings. However sometimes the tags are
    based on conscious decision by the author.

    > I understand that "charset" is an identifier
    > to specify font characters,


    No, it specifies the character encoding.

    > but how does the writer know what charset to specify?


    Mostly he doesn't. But he should know it from the description and
    settings of his authoring software what it produces.

    > If the charset is not identified, what is are the possible results
    > assuming the page is to be viewed only in the US and is a
    > non-commercial page for casual use?


    If it contains Ascii characters only, almost all browsers in the US
    probably guess that the encoding is windows-1252, which is OK since
    Ascii is (in a sense) a subset of windows-1252.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
    Jukka K. Korpela, Feb 23, 2004
    #2
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  3. Tony Cooper <> wrote:

    > If the charset is not identified, what is are the possible results


    See yourself at
    <http://www.unics.uni-hannover.de/nhtcapri/multilingual1.htm>
    This page has no specified encoding (charset). You may choose any
    encoding (charset) in your browser and see what happens.

    > assuming the page is to be viewed only in the US and is a
    > non-commercial page for casual use?


    I don't understand how this relates to character coding.

    --
    Top-posting.
    What's the most irritating thing on Usenet?
    Andreas Prilop, Feb 24, 2004
    #3
  4. Tony Cooper

    Tony Cooper Guest

    On Tue, 24 Feb 2004 21:37:24 +0100, Andreas Prilop
    <-hannover.de> wrote:

    >Tony Cooper <> wrote:
    >
    >> If the charset is not identified, what is are the possible results

    >
    >See yourself at
    > <http://www.unics.uni-hannover.de/nhtcapri/multilingual1.htm>
    >This page has no specified encoding (charset). You may choose any
    >encoding (charset) in your browser and see what happens.
    >
    >> assuming the page is to be viewed only in the US and is a
    >> non-commercial page for casual use?

    >
    >I don't understand how this relates to character coding.


    When I write a question, I try to provide enough information about my
    application for the answer so I don't send people off on wild goose
    chases.

    Before I post a question here I try to do some basic research on the
    question so I don't ask a question that is easily answered by a Google
    search. Googling "define: charset" I come up with:

    "short for character set; the set of characters and symbols that a web
    page uses. Most operating systems use the same charset, but foreign
    countries, especially those with non-Roman alphabets, sometimes do
    not."

    That doesn't tell me what might happen if I don't include charset in
    my document, so I asked the question here. It does tell me that
    something might happen if my page is to be read in a foreign country
    on a computer that is set up differently. So, I took that out of
    consideration by specifying that this is not a factor for me. The
    same general principle applies with the non-commercial reference. If
    that's a factor, I'll eliminate it in the phrasing of the question.

    If you wish to chase wild geese, that's fine. Sometimes a question in
    a newsgroup leads to discussion of peripheral topics. But, if you do
    so, it won't be because I didn't give you enough information in my
    question.
    Tony Cooper, Feb 25, 2004
    #4
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