Re: Euro

From: John Wilcock (
Date: Wed Oct 22 1997 - 01:49:41 EDT

On Tue, 21 Oct 1997 10:14:34 -0700 (PDT), Misha Wolf wrote:
>> > Unicode-capable browsers : at least 4 (*)
>> > Latin-0-capable browsers : 0
>> Do you have a count for the number of browsers which can display 8-bit
>> ISO-8859-x encodings (where x <> 1), but not multi-octet encodings?
>> [I don't, but I expect that there are many]
>I didn't bother responding to the person whose reply started with the
>sentence: "Rubbish." I will respond, briefly, to your mail.
>It depends what you mean by "can display". I work for a commercial
>organisation. Our clients use browsers for a living (as well as for fun).
>They don't have the time to mess about with trick fonts or to try each
>entry on the browsers Encoding menu in order to read the page before them.
>The latest HTTP and HTML specs make it clear that browsers should be
>informed, via HTTP or HTTP-EQUIV, of the charset of the page being served
>up. I listed four browsers which: (1) correctly interpret such
>instructions, and (2) understand Unicode. To my knowledge, none of them
>understand the charset "ISO-8859-0". If you know of one, please say so.

I don't know of any, and I don't expect there are any, since
"ISO-8859-0" does not exist (and never will - I understand that
Latin-0 is to be ISO-8859-15). What I was trying to say is that most
browsers (apart from the 4 you listed) are built around the use of
8-bit character sets, and it will be much easier for them to add
support for Latin-0 than for multi-octet encodings.

It would, of course, be preferable for them to implement Unicode.
That may actually happen for browsers, with the advent of HTML 4.0,
but browsers are not the only place where character encodings are an
issue. Mail and news readers also need to understand MIME charsets.

To give a simple example, my mail/news client is Agent 1.5, which is
perfectly capable of displaying any 8-bit encoding (given a suitable
font and, where necessary, a mapping between the encoding and the
font). It would be very simple to teach Agent about ISO-8859-15, given
updated CP-1252 fonts. It would, however, require a redesign of Agent
before it could display Unicode.

John Wilcock,

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