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Bug#211889: marked as done (apache: Default Content-encoding of iso-8859-1 is a hindrance)

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and subject line Default charset is configurable
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From: Giles Antonio Radford <moof@moof.org.uk>
To: Debian Bug Tracking System <submit@bugs.debian.org>
Subject: apache: Default Content-encoding of iso-8859-1 is a hindrance
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Package: apache
Severity: normal

Since 1.3.12, The apache httpd.conf file has had the following lines in it:
(line 821 of my file, though these things change)
# Default charset to iso-8859-1 (http://www.apache.org/info/css-security/).
AddDefaultCharset on

This is very annoying, as a lot of web browsers incorrectly assume the
server knows what it's talking about, which is not always the case, and so
my nice UTF-8 HTML documents (which all declare their encoding in a <meta>
tag) turn out mangled because my web browsers (in this case mozilla 1.5,
firebird 0.6, and Internet explorer 6) go and display it as ISO-8859-1.

I suppose the first thing to mention is that iso-8859-1 is obsolete,
replaced by iso-8859-15, which includes the Euro Character instead fo the
less often used Generic Currency Sign at 0xA4. At the very least the default
character set should be changed to that, as it's more commonly in use these

At the same time, it leave users who do not use ISO-8859-15 in the lurch, or
who have several different encodings on the hard drive. mod_cern_meta can
take care of the latter lot fairly easily, but I'd like to suggest the
following instead:

Add a debconf option at installation time to choose between the various
encodings which one the default should be, or to turn this behaviour off.

Alternatively, set it at installation time fromt he user's locale settings.
It may not be correct all of the time, but it'll probably be more correct
most of the time.

Moof - who spent four hours tonight tryign to work out why his UTF-8
documents weren't displaying properly.
-- System Information:
Debian Release: testing/unstable
Architecture: i386
Kernel: Linux perrin 2.4.21-ac4 #1 SMP Sat Jul 26 01:18:02 CEST 2003 i686
Locale: LANG=en_IE@euro, LC_CTYPE=en_IE@euro

Versions of packages apache depends on:
ii  apache-common        Support files for all Apache webse
ii  debconf                       1.3.4      Debian configuration management sy
ii  dpkg                          1.10.10    Package maintenance system for Deb
ii  libc6                         2.3.2-3    GNU C Library: Shared libraries an
ii  libdb4.1                      4.1.25-4   Berkeley v4.1 Database Libraries [
ii  libexpat1                     1.95.6-4   XML parsing C library - runtime li
ii  libmagic1                     4.02-4     File type determination library us
ii  logrotate                     3.6.5-2    Log rotation utility
ii  mime-support                  3.23-1     MIME files 'mime.types' & 'mailcap
ii  perl [perl5]                  5.8.0-18   Larry Wall's Practical Extraction 

-- debconf information:
  apache/enable-suexec: false

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Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 19:48:42 +0200 (CEST)
From: Fabio Massimo Di Nitto <fabbione@fabbione.net>
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To: 211889-done@bugs.debian.org
Subject: Default charset is configurable
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	please check the documentation for AddDefaultCharset here:


The relevant part, that i did not notice myself, when reviewing the
default configuration, is that it now supports not only on|off but also a
default charset. For eg:

AddDefaultCharset utf-8

so you have to set that yourself.

Since our policies have been changed and we do not mangle the
configuration files anymore, the default Charset for error pages
is iso-8859-1 and since according to:


there might be security implication, apache packages will not change
default settings for standard installation.

Users are free to change it according to their requirements at any time.


<user> fajita: step one
<fajita> Whatever the problem, step one is always to look in the error log.
<user> fajita: step two
<fajita> When in danger or in doubt, step two is to scream and shout.

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