The Encoding specificationhas been published as a Candidate Recommendation. This is a snapshot of the WHATWG document, as of 4 September 2014, published after discussion with the WHATWG editors. No changes have been made in the body of this document other than to align with W3C house styles. The primary reason that W3C is publishing this document is so that HTML5 and other specifications may normatively refer to a stable W3C Recommendation.
Going forward, the Internationalization Working Group expects to
receive more comments in the form of implementation feedback and
test cases. The Working Group
believes it will have satisfied its implementation criteria no earlier than 16 March 2015. If you would like to contribute test cases or information about implementations, please send mail to email@example.com.
The utf-8 encoding is the most appropriate encoding for interchange of Unicode, the universal coded character set. Therefore for new protocols and formats, as well as existing formats deployed in new contexts, this specification requires (and defines) the utf-8 encoding.
The other (legacy) encodings have been defined to some extent in the past. However, user agents have not always implemented them in the same way, have not always used the same labels, and often differ in dealing with undefined and former proprietary areas of encodings. This specification addresses those gaps so that new user agents do not have to reverse engineer encoding implementations and existing user agents can converge.