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Re: Best way to markup standards compliant symbols

From: Christophe Strobbe <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 14:37:58 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

At 11:34 20/03/2009, Harry Loots wrote:
>Characters outside the seven-bit ASCII range should be encoded. If characters
>are not encoded then it may lead to mis-representation in the host browser -
>thus an inter-operability failure.

I disagree. You only need entity references for characters that have 
a special meaning in markup, as David Dorward pointed out.
Of course, you need to make sure that the encoding you use the create 
the document matches the encoding used in the HTTP headers that the 
server sends with the document (e.g. Content-Type: text/html; 
charset=utf-8). An incorrect match is a common cause of 
misrepresentation of text in the browser. Users can only correct this 
misrepresentation if they know how to change the encoding in the 
browser (e.g. "Character encoding" in the "View" menu in Firefox). I 
assume that most ordinary users don't know this.

If it were true that every character outside the seven-bit ASCII 
range, then millions of web pages in writing systems other that Latin 
would be encoded incorrectly.

>It is not irrelevant to accessibility as lack of inter-operability may lead to
>inaccessible pages.

It would be more precise to say that it is a problem that affects 
every type of user; it's not specific to people with disabilities.

>   You can find more information here:
>     http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/sgml/entities.html
>     http://www.entitycode.com/

Best regards,

Christophe Strobbe

Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
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Received on Friday, 20 March 2009 13:38:44 UTC

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