Am 24.02.2012, 09:47 Uhr, schrieb Miano Njoka <>:

While it is not essential, it is necessary in some cases where the
finished document will be read from disk or is used by other
applications eg. Deliverance[].
In fact w3c's HTML validator throws a warning that one should declare
the character encoding in the document itself if it is missing.

This is actually what the validator says:

No character encoding information was found within the document, either in an HTML meta element or an XML declaration. It is often recommended to declare the character encoding in the document itself, especially if there is a chance that the document will be read from or saved to disk, CD, etc.

As ZPT produces XHTML the proper place for any encoding declaration is in the XML declaration, defaulting to UTF-8, which should throw a validation error if incorrect. Like much of the HTML standard the meta tags were never really thought through and, because invisible to the user, all too often copied mindlessly from one project to another: I have customers today with completely invalid and misleading meta tags of which they and the rest of the world is blissfully unware. And as a result browsers - the main consumers of the format were made fault tolerant - after all the user often had no idea what was causing the problem or how to rectify it. I have seen many examples of the server saying one think and the meta something else entirely. I think nearly all browsers believe what the server says over what's in the meta tag.

According to MAMA, which was instrumental in developing HTML 5 based on what has actually been written, the charset was set in the http-headersover 99 % of the time. Unfortunately, it doesn't contain any stats on discrepancies between the http-header and the meta.

While there is apparently a possible security risk when not declaring the charset I think the Pythonic principle of "there should be preferably one obvious way to do something" should apply when within Zope trying to decide the charset of a file and that should be well documented. I'd suggest keeping the stripping but implementing a more rigorous approach such as you suggest.

Charlie Clark
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Clark Consulting & Research
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