The Internet is international.
"With the Internet follows an absolute requirement to interchange data in a multiplicity of languages, which in turn utilize a bewildering number of characters."
H. Alvestrand, The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), January 1998.
All W3C standards (since 1996), including HTML, XHTML, and XML, defines an internal character-set called Unicode (ISO 10646).
All modern web browsers are using this character-set internally. Most documents transmitted over the Internet do not use the Unicode character-set.
Because of this, browsers and servers must have a way to agree about the character-set used in the communication between them.
Labeling each document with the proper character-set, is important for the quality of your web site.
For your HTML pages, always use the following meta element inside the <head> element:
Replace x with the character-set you would like to use, like ISO-8859-1, UTF-8, or UTF-16.
Don't use dates like "04-03-02".
The date above could mean the 2nd of March, 2004. It could also mean the 4th of March, 2002. Or even the 3rd of April, 2002.
The International Standard Organization (ISO) has defined an international format for dates as "yyyy-mm-dd", where yyyy is the year, mm is the month, and dd is the day.
When you use this ISO format, you can expect most visitors to understand your dates.
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