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Results of Questionnaire ISSUE-125: Requirement to break RFC 2616 compliance - Straw Poll for Objections

The results of this questionnaire are available to anybody.

This questionnaire was open from 2011-02-20 to 2011-03-10.

5 answers have been received.

Jump to results for question:

  1. Objections to the Change Proposal to parse quotes in Content-Type headers in elements in a HTTP compliant manner
  2. Objections to the Change Proposal to say this is a distinct algorithm from HTTP Content-Type processing for usage outside.

1. Objections to the Change Proposal to parse quotes in Content-Type headers in elements in a HTTP compliant manner

We have a Change Proposal to parse quotes in Content-Type headers in "meta" elements in a HTTP compliant manner. If you have strong objections to adopting this Change Proposal, please state your objections below.

Keep in mind, you must actually state an objection, not merely cite someone else. If you feel that your objection has already been adequately addressed by someone else, then it is not necessary to repeat it.

Details

Responder Objections to the Change Proposal to parse quotes in Content-Type headers in elements in a HTTP compliant manner
Theresa O'Connor We are reluctant to change our implementation here since doing so may harm WebKit's web compatibility. That IE implements this differently isn't an argument against this concern, because websites often have two code paths: one for legacy/IE, and one for other browsers, all of whom are aligned with the spec here. In order to be convinced to change our implementation, we need a stronger rationale than inter-spec compatibility—spec authors and theoretical purity are at the bottom of our Priority of Constituencies <http://www.w3.org/TR/html-design-principles/#priority-of-constituencies>. It would be better for the HTTP spec to be brought into alignment with the rest of the Web platform, where single- and double-quotes can generally be used.
Julian Reschke
Philip Jägenstedt If <http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=10805#c2> is to be believed, Gecko, Opera, and WebKit already behave as per the spec. Given how common it is on the web platform to use single- and double-quotes interchangeably, it seems very likely that there exists content that was never intended to work in IE that would break if changing this, like demos or browser extensions. For important changes this might be acceptable, but all we're talking about here is spec purity.

More importantly, the suggested change does not appear to actually align the spec with RFC2616, which was the whole point. Here's my reading:

1. Start at Content-Type <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2616#section-14.17>
2. Follow reference to Media Types <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2616#section-3.7>
3. Find "Parameters MAY follow the type/subtype in the form of attribute/value pairs (as defined in section 3.6)".
4. Follow the reference to Transfer Codings <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2616#section-3.6>
5. Follow the reference to quoted-string in <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2616#section-2.2>

We've arrived at:

quoted-string = ( <"> *(qdtext | quoted-pair ) <"> )
qdtext = <any TEXT except <">>
quoted-pair = "\" CHAR

Since the suggested change doesn't handle the backslash-escaping mechanism, it is failing to 'parse quotes in Content-Type headers in "meta" elements in a HTTP compliant manner', so it would not be appropriate remove the willful violation note based on the reasoning in this CP.
Martin Kliehm
Henri Sivonen I strongly oppose to this Change Proposal, because
http://www.hixie.ch/tests/adhoc/html/parsing/encoding/075.html
shows that the value ISO-8859-9 is successfully extracted in Firefox 4, Chrome 10, Safari 5, Opera 11 and IE9. (In some of them it's also mapped to Windows-1254, which is a distraction for interpreting the behavior in relation to single quotes.)

Catering to theoretical purity when implementations agree would be a violation of the Priority of Constituencies principle.

I'd much rather fix real bugs in the parsers in Gecko than change interoperable stuff to more closely match the application of HTTP RFCs to superficially similar syntactic features of the HTML layer.

2. Objections to the Change Proposal to say this is a distinct algorithm from HTTP Content-Type processing for usage outside.

We have a Change Proposal to say the HTML5 description is a distinct algorithm from HTTP Content-Type processing for usage outside of HTTP.

Keep in mind, you must actually state an objection, not merely cite someone else. If you feel that your objection has already been adequately addressed by someone else, then it is not necessary to repeat it.

Details

Responder Objections to the Change Proposal to say this is a distinct algorithm from HTTP Content-Type processing for usage outside.
Theresa O'Connor
Julian Reschke This change proposal *is* an improvement over the current spec text, in that it acknowledges that the rational given in the spec is completely misleading.

That being said, Microsoft has changed their behavior in IE9RC, so it seems there's implementor consensus about this.
Philip Jägenstedt
Martin Kliehm
Henri Sivonen

More details on responses

  • Theresa O'Connor: last responded on 25, February 2011 at 22:20 (UTC)
  • Julian Reschke: last responded on 26, February 2011 at 18:12 (UTC)
  • Philip Jägenstedt: last responded on 26, February 2011 at 18:43 (UTC)
  • Martin Kliehm: last responded on 28, February 2011 at 10:44 (UTC)
  • Henri Sivonen: last responded on 3, March 2011 at 10:33 (UTC)

Everybody has responded to this questionnaire.


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