[thelist] character set meta tag placement

Sarah Sweeney mr.sanders at designshift.com
Wed Dec 8 14:35:34 CST 2004

In trying to solve the problem I sent a message about earlier, I read 
"The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively 
Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!)" on 

This is an excerpt from the article regarding the placement of the 
character set meta tag:

> Luckily, almost every encoding in common use does the same thing with
> characters between 32 and 127, so you can always get this far on the
> HTML page without starting to use funny letters:
>   <html>
>   <head>
>   <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
> But that meta tag really has to be the very first thing in the <head>
> section because as soon as the web browser sees this tag it's going to
> stop parsing the page and start over after reinterpreting the whole page
> using the encoding you specified.

My question is, what if that meta tag is not the *very* first thing in 
the head section? Will it be ignored, or will it just mean the browser 
starts reinterpreting the page a little bit later (which might cause a 
small increase in page load time)?

Sarah Sweeney  ::  Web Developer & Programmer
Portfolio  ::  http://sarah.designshift.com
Blog  ::  http://hardedge.ca

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