On Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 12:36:19PM +0200, Charlie Clark wrote:
> Am 27.03.2012, 12:16 Uhr, schrieb Fred Drake <f...@fdrake.net>:
> >In other words... "the web" will continue to thrive on hacks and
> >sniffing data to support users' expectations in spite of the data on
> >"the web".  I appreciate the motivation (it's not the users' fault
> >the content provider can't get it right), it saddens me that there
> >will no end of quirks-mode-like data interpretation.  And that after
> >this many years, we still can't get content-type and encodings
> >straightened out.
> True but I think that the problem was largely of our own making in
> not coming up with "one, preferably only one" way of handling this.
> Re-reading Marius' post I was struck by the whole idea of the
> http-server transcoding the content on the fly. Now, I've never
> looked at this in detail but have any of the major webservers ever
> done that?

No idea.

I wish I remembered where I read about that.  There used to be a dozen
charsets for Russian (koi8-r, windows-1251, cp866, iso-8859-5,
x-mac-cyrillic; basically at least one for every OS ;) and some websites
even went as far as letting the visitor choose the charset they wanted
to see.

*google google*

  "Having words like "please, choose an appropriate encoding" on your
   pages is really a BAD idea, drives people crazy. [...]

   Here is my advice. Get the latest version of Apache and a FLY plug-in
   module written by Igor Sereda (ser...@spb.runnet.ru). The module
   allows on-the-fly recoding from one character set to another on the
   basis of either HTTP_ACCEPT_CHARSET or, if it is not set, it scans
   "User-Agent" field from which it tries to figure out what platform
   and OS you are on. I am archiving it on sunsite as well."
        -- http://www.ibiblio.org/sergei/Software/http.html

That document even mentions *proxy servers doing charset conversions on
the fly*. (O.o)

This is all, of course, completely irrelevant to the modern web.

I mention this merely as a historical curiosity, because I find the "why
are the rules that way?" type of questions fascinating.

Marius Gedminas
http://pov.lt/ -- Zope 3/BlueBream consulting and development

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