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HTML Code Clinic Do you have some HTML code you'd like to share and get suggestions from others for tweaking or improving it? This discussion is the place.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 08:29 PM
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Default meta tags


<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />

<meta http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">

I have been trying to find info about the difference between these two type of meta tags.
When I do find some mentioning of this type of tag it simply informs me that it exists but does not give me a list of the charsets and what each is and does. I have a number of html books and the amount of info amounts to a very short paragraph if they mention it at all.

The charset 1252 also has the following meta tag -
<META content="MSHTML 6.00.2800.1593" name=GENERATOR>

I have never used this tag and would love to learn about it. The web page where I found this surprised me in that when I removed the above tag all the styling of the page disappeared, even though it has an attached css sheet.

Any insight, books or internet references would be greatly welcomed.

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Old June 4th, 2007, 09:01 AM
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Here's a good link, full of references and information, hope it helps:
http://webtips.dan.info/char.html
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Old June 4th, 2007, 09:55 AM
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Thanks for the link and it did give me some more info, BUT it did not answer my questions.
1. there was no mention of charset=windows-1252 and what it is and why use it instead of charset=iso-8859-1. Does it give you something that 8859-1 does not?

2. also nothing about
<META content="MSHTML 6.00.2800.1593" name=GENERATOR>
I have no clue what the string stands for and what exactly generator is used for and any and all pertinent info.
Should one bother with this meta tag, is it an advantage? disadvantage? ???

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Old June 5th, 2007, 03:00 AM
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You're right, ferlach, the previous link doesn't answer your questions. But I think this ones about charset will:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows-1252
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8859-1

As for the MSHTML tag, as you may know, it is a Micro$oft specific tag, so I wouldn't say it's an advantage, but read more about in:
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/Aa753630.aspx (pros)
http://everything2.com/index.pl?node=MS-HTML (cons)
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Old June 5th, 2007, 02:59 PM
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No, no, no.

This meta element:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />

Is used to mimic an HTTP response header. It specifies the MIME type of the document, and the character encoding. For more information you want to look at the HTTP response header "content-type".

As to the encoding, this specifies a pallet of available characters that can be used in a document. See the Wikipedia link for the characters that are included in that specification.

You should specify UTF-8, instead of windows-1252 or iso-8859-1, since it contains many more characters. To understand the differences between character encodings, you must first understand what character encoding is in the first place.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Character_encoding

<META content="MSHTML 6.00.2800.1593" name=GENERATOR>

IS NOT a Microsoft proprietary tag. This is nothing more than meta data providing the name of the software that generated the HTML document. It provides no functional purpose for the document.

The meta element is used to append additional data about the document.


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Rich

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Old June 5th, 2007, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
quote:
<META content="MSHTML 6.00.2800.1593" name=GENERATOR>

Thank you for answer to my question at the HTML_Code forum. I would like to ask you some further questions if I may.

Why is it almost impossible to find complete answers for meta tags. I do find answers to common meta tags, although they are very short and do not really explain things, just sort of say use it this fashion, period.

The above meta tag is just not to be found anywhere. I did get in touch with the web design studio that did the web page where I found it and she answered.
The answer she gave raised more questions and explained very little, for she said that she had not put it in but that "I think it was added by IE when it presented the source code to you". I do not quite buy that, for that does not really make any sense. I have looked at plenty of sourse codes and just do not remeber ever seeing that tag.
I copied that page and when I removed that tag the presentation for the page disappeared EVEN though a css style sheet was linked to it. How can that happen and why would it? I thought that the css controls the presentation

I am also wondering why there is no book available dealing just with meta tags, explaining them in detail. I am sure it would be a faily thin one, but I find that html books, even the most techical ones barely deal with that subject. That I just do not understand.

I have been studying web design, for several years now, and the instructors at my community college just know it at a basic level and really are not interested in learning more so asking them is a waste of time.
I checked the w3 site and that also has little to say on the subject of meta tags. I find all that just very mystifying.

So I am taking advantage of your very generous offer to exchange thoughts.

Thanks,

Maya
Please keep the conversation public. There's no reason to make it private. The point of public forums like this one is so that others can benefit from the exchange of information. So that when the next soul comes along searching on information about the <meta> element and happens on this thread, they too can learn what you've learned.

Removing the generator meta information from a web page will not change its presentation. It is meta data. There are two types of meta data. One type provides a mechanism for mimicking HTTP response headers, this type of meta data can potentially affect the document's presentation. For example, if you specify the wrong encoding type, some of the characters in the document won't be rendered, and you'll see question marks or boxes where those characters are supposed to appear.

The other type of meta data is nothing more than supplemental information about the document. This supplemental information is used to assist search engines in the parsing and categorization of the document. Some examples are keywords, descriptions, the document's author. The copyright of the document. The software used to generate the document.

The generator meta descriptor is included by the software that created the document, and is used for statistical purposes. The presence of that information gives the software's developer an way of gathering analytical data for the use and deployment of their particular software.

Here's a list of meta elements that I use:

        <meta name='description' content='A description' />
        <meta name='keywords' content='keyword, another, etc' />
        <meta name='author' content='Your Name' />
        <meta name='copyright' content='&copy; Copyright 2007 Your Name. All Rights Reserved.' />
        <meta name='robots' content='index, follow' />
        <meta name='googlebot' content='index, follow' />
        <meta name='verify-v1' content='asdfasdfasdfasdflkja;lsdfasdf=' />
        <meta name='generator' content='Some Software' />
        <meta name='date' content='2006-12-08T18:00:18-05:00' />

You can pretty much make up whatever you want for the value of the name attribute. Some search engines expect and use values like description, keywords, author, etc.

The value "verify-v1" was invented by Google, and is used by them to verify the maintainer of a website before allowing the maintainer to submit a XML sitemap for crawling by Google.

This information makes absolutely no impact on the presentation of the document. That you experienced changes in your document's presentation are more than likely the result of some other error in the markup of the document, and is not related to the meta element.

There is PLENTY of information available online about the <meta> element.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meta_element
http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/stru...l.html#h-7.4.4
http://searchenginewatch.com/showPage.html?page=2167931


Regards,
Rich

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