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Symbols charset problem

 
 
Sid Ismail
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      06-11-2006

Hi all, esp. Jukka who is also a bridge enthusiast,

I am trying my utmost in solving this mystery, and I need help badly.
My shrink cannot assist.

Have a look at http://www.elsid.co.za/symbols.html and tell me what I
should do locally to be able to view the symbols as they _should_ be
seen.

My thanks in advance!

Sid


 
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Philip Semanchuk
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      06-11-2006
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Sid Ismail <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Hi all, esp. Jukka who is also a bridge enthusiast,
>
> I am trying my utmost in solving this mystery, and I need help badly.
> My shrink cannot assist.
>
> Have a look at http://www.elsid.co.za/symbols.html and tell me what I
> should do locally to be able to view the symbols as they _should_ be
> seen.


Hi Sid,
I am afraid you will have to turn to your shrink, because the problem is
all in your head! The symbols display perfectly for me under Safari and
Opera (8.5).

But wait, you say you're using Firefox? Ah, now I understand...I see the
same problem, even when I use numeric entity references like &#x2660;
(spades). I thought that changing to a different font might fix the
problem, but FF stubbornly displays them as horizontal and vertical
bars. I'm not sure why it is doing that. I'll clear the stage for
someone (like Jukka) who knows the details.

HTH

--
Philip
http://NiktaTheSpider.com/
Bulk HTML validation, link checking and more
 
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Sid Ismail
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      06-11-2006
On Sun, 11 Jun 2006 23:36:53 GMT, Philip Semanchuk
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

: I am afraid you will have to turn to your shrink, because the problem is
: all in your head! The symbols display perfectly for me under Safari and
: Opera (8.5).

Hi

It displays fine at the bottom of my URL quoted -
http://www.elsid.co.za/symbols.html , but look at the image t the top
(grey background) which is a snapshot of what I see using IE6.

BTW, the problem exists in FF as well...

Sid


 
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Philip Semanchuk
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      06-12-2006
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Sid Ismail <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> On Sun, 11 Jun 2006 23:36:53 GMT, Philip Semanchuk
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> : I am afraid you will have to turn to your shrink, because the problem is
> : all in your head! The symbols display perfectly for me under Safari and
> : Opera (8.5).
>
> Hi
>
> It displays fine at the bottom of my URL quoted -
> http://www.elsid.co.za/symbols.html , but look at the image t the top
> (grey background) which is a snapshot of what I see using IE6.
>
> BTW, the problem exists in FF as well...


I was unclear; by "displays perfectly for me under Safari and Opera
(8.5)" I meant that the &hearts; entity reference appears as a heart,
&clubs; appears as a club, etc. in those browsers. Since you say that
the image at the top of the page is from IE6, it looks like FF is the
odd one out here by displaying them as horizontal and vertical lines
instead of card suits.

BTW, I should have mentioned that the charset hasn't got anything to do
with this problem. The charset just tells the browser how to translate
the individual bytes of the file into a string of characters. The
browser first sees the file as a stream of individual bytes. It then
uses the charset (e.g. US-ASCII, UTF-8, ISO-8859-1, etc.) to translate
those bytes into individual characters. Once that translation is done,
the charset doesn't matter anymore. If the translated characters contain
"&hearts;" or "&#x2665;" then the browser should (AFAICT) display a
heart symbol. In short, the charset is a red herring in this problem.
Nevertheless, you should always specify one because not doing so can
cause lots of other problems.

--
Philip
http://NiktaTheSpider.com/
Bulk HTML validation, link checking and more
 
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Alan J. Flavell
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      06-12-2006
On Mon, 12 Jun 2006, Sid Ismail wrote:

> Have a look at http://www.elsid.co.za/symbols.html and tell me what I
> should do locally to be able to view the symbols as they _should_ be
> seen.


Initial impression is that it works. And that it has *nothing* to do
with your "Subject:" header!!!

Looking at the cited page
http://www.worldbridge.org/tourn/Ver...in/Bul0305.htm it
represents the suits by &spades; &hearts; etc., which is technically
correct (might not be supported by some older browser/versions).

The page has no server-supplied charset specification, but it contains
the second-best substitute, a meta http-equiv, claiming iso-8859-1
(which, as we will see, is a lie, but doesn't affect the issue you
seem to be complaining about). Some older browser/versions (notably
NN4.*) would only be able to display this if the character coding was
stated to be utf-8, but that's a browser bug: the page in question is
OK.

HTML validation shows that it contains some defective characters, but
they aren't the suits: see
http://validator.w3.org/check?verbos...%2FBul0305.htm
which contains some advice on how to correct those errors. Changing
the character encoding to windows-1252 would be a quick workaround,
but it would be better not to rely on a proprietary encoding.

Coming back to http://www.elsid.co.za/symbols.html , it has neither
HTTP-specified nor meta...http-equiv specification of character
encoding, so all bets are off.

The validator guesses that it's utf-8 and refuses to even try to
validate it, which is technically correct. If I force iso-8859-1 and
HTML/4.01 transitional, there are still far too many irrelevant errors
to be able to spot the real ones, but you still have at least one
Windows-specific (non-iso-8859-1) character in there.

> My thanks in advance!


Well, there's quite a bit wrong with both pages, but none of the
faults seem to be quite the one that you're complaining about, and the
"Subject" header is still **VERY** misleading, as there is no use of a
"Symbol encoding" nor a Symbol font in here (which would anyway be
bogus in proper HTML).

 
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Sid Ismail
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      06-12-2006
On Mon, 12 Jun 2006 00:13:04 GMT, Philip Semanchuk
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

: If the translated characters contain
: "&hearts;" or "&#x2665;" then the browser should (AFAICT) display a
: heart symbol.


That's my problem. &spades is not a spade.

Sid


 
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Sid Ismail
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      06-12-2006
On Mon, 12 Jun 2006 11:35:52 +0100, "Alan J. Flavell"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

: Well, there's quite a bit wrong with both pages, but none of the
: faults seem to be quite the one that you're complaining about, and the
: "Subject" header is still **VERY** misleading, as there is no use of a
: "Symbol encoding" nor a Symbol font in here (which would anyway be
: bogus in proper HTML).


OK - subject line should be "&spade not displayed as a spade"

Is there anything I need to do/install on my PC to correct it?

Sid


 
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Alan J. Flavell
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      06-12-2006
On Mon, 12 Jun 2006, Sid Ismail wrote:

> OK - subject line should be "&spade not displayed as a spade"
>
> Is there anything I need to do/install on my PC to correct it?


That may depend on the browser you were trying it with. If, as I
guess from your remarks, you're using MesSIE, I'd suggest going to its
fonts menu and setting (for the "Latin" writing system, paradoxical as
it may seem) the font "Lucida Sans Unicode", assuming that you already
have it installed by default.

Take a note of what was selected there before, and tell us so that we
can all have a laugh...

Test pages here: http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/unicode/
in your case particularly:
http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/...unidata26.html

Background information (probably more than you want!) here:
http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/...ers-fonts.html

You might also consider upgrading to a decent *web* browser - SCNR.
 
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Philip Semanchuk
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      06-12-2006
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Sid Ismail <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> On Mon, 12 Jun 2006 11:35:52 +0100, "Alan J. Flavell"
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> : Well, there's quite a bit wrong with both pages, but none of the
> : faults seem to be quite the one that you're complaining about, and the
> : "Subject" header is still **VERY** misleading, as there is no use of a
> : "Symbol encoding" nor a Symbol font in here (which would anyway be
> : bogus in proper HTML).
>
>
> OK - subject line should be "&spade not displayed as a spade"
>
> Is there anything I need to do/install on my PC to correct it?


Sid,
As we've discovered, some browsers will display these the way you want
them to and some won't. Whether or not you can cajole your PC into
displaying them is kind of beside the point, unless you expect everyone
who visits your Web page to do the same thing to their PC (assuming they
even have a PC). This might be the case for you; perhaps you're just
creating a Web game for your family to play or something like that. But
if you're creating a page for use by the general public, it will be
broken for a significant portion of your visitors.

Learning how to fix the problem on your PC might be enlightening as far
as understanding the root of the problem (I'm curious as to whether it
is a font issue or not) but it probably won't solve the larger problem
of how you can get these symbols to display on a Web page. Methinks you
will have to resort to graphics.

HTH

--
Philip
http://NiktaTheSpider.com/
Bulk HTML validation, link checking and more
 
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Sid Ismail
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      06-12-2006
On Mon, 12 Jun 2006 16:20:08 GMT, Philip Semanchuk
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

: Methinks you
: will have to resort to graphics.


Sure, I do - when I create the page.
Look at http://myweb.absa.co.za/elsid/hands.html e.g.

When the World Bridge Federation put something up, I have a problem.
I have complained many times, but they will not change to images.

I have IE6 and FF, btw.

Thanks all for your input - I will play around with browser settings,
and kick the damn thingy. If I find the solution, I will let you all
know.

Sid


 
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