Re: HTML Form Encoding Problem

From: A. Vine (
Date: Thu Jan 13 2000 - 14:11:48 EST

Mark et al,

The browsers are fairly reliable in converting data input in an HTML form into
the declared charset of the form. A hidden field with the charset value works
very well in this case - or - if the form is dynamically generated, so too is
the HTTP header and/or META tag with the charset, which means the program
already knows the charset of the form. If the CGI is persistent, this
information is simply accessed from a stored variable. If the CGI is not
persistent, the hidden field can be generated as part of the form.

We have used this technique with success in a couple of client applications,
both with persistent and non-persistent CGIs.


Andrea Vine,
Sun-Netscape Alliance i18n architect
Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows.
-- Dr. Dave Farber (father of SNOBOL and one of the creators of Token Ring) wrote: > > Unfortunately, as has been noted on this list, there is no explicit > reliable way to determine the character encoding of a posted form in HTML. > A common technique for handling this is to have a hidden field with known, > fixed contents. When these contents are analysed, the encoding can be > heuristically determined. > > What I would like to see is if anyone has developed a set of minimal > contents of one or more hidden fields that suffice to distinguish all major > character sets? > > Mark

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