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Re: Best way to markup standards compliant symbols

From: Elizabeth J. Pyatt <ejp10@psu.edu>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 09:41:06 -0400
Message-Id: <p06240804c5e948ccdcab@[]>
To: "Mery Richard" <RMERY@mail.dstl.gov.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org>
A reason many Web sites have problems with some 
quotation marks, apostrophes  and dashes is that 
they are really  "foreign characters" (i.e. not 
ASCII). Most word processors like Word convert 
quotes/apostrophes to "Smart Quotes" or the curly 
kind with a left and right direction and insert 
long em and en dashes.

In ASCII though, only the straight quote and the 
short dash are included. The curly quotes and 
long dashes are really classed as "special 

Because of this, it really is a good idea for any 
new Website to be in Unicode (a standard that 
contains every character)  so that these kinks 
can be minimized.  For Unicode data (the best 
encoding these days), if you include the UTF-8 
meta tag (see links below) then you do not have 
convert symbols like , to entity codes (except 
for &amp; , &gt; and &lt;).

This is important if you have lots of non-English 
data or need to transition data to and from XML.


However, you do need to make sure you really are 
generating Unicode. Dreamweaver and Notepad 
(Windows)/BBEdit (Mac) do a good job once the set 
up is finished -  but FrontPage, Word or 
Microsoft Expression tend to be set for Win-1252 
(not a reliable Web standard).

Some set up instructions are below

(Front Page)

If you can't include Unicode data, then you may 
have to use entity codes to be safe. Here are 
some for punctuation.


Hope this makes some sense.


At 9:47 AM +0000 3/20/09, Mery Richard wrote:
>I am wondering which would be the most and best 
>way to achieve standards compliant symbols such 
>as commas and apostrophes?
>I.e. &amp; &gt; etc,
>Do they have to be coded characters or can they be regular text?
>Kind regards
>Richard Mery BA (hons)
>   [dstl] Web Team
>   Knowledge and Information Services (KIS)
>   Building 248 Rm 2
>   Porton Down
>   Salisbury
>   Wiltshire
>   SP4 0JQ
>Dstl is part of the
>Ministry of Defence
>T - 01980 614944
>F - 01980 613328
>E - <mailto:rmery@dstl.gov.uk>rmery@dstl.gov.uk
>From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org 
>[mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of 
>Phill Jenkins
>Sent: 12 March 2009 15:42
>To: David Poehlman
>Cc: Ryan Jean; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org; w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org
>Subject: Re: IE8
>I would recommend that you ask Microsoft - or at 
>least read their web site - see 
>And I would recommend you ask the AT vendors who 
>support it, like Freedom Scientific's JAWS 
>support, AiSquared's ZoomText support, and open 
>source things like NVDA, etc.
>Phill Jenkins,
>IBM Research - Human Ability & Accessibility Center
>U.S. Access Board
>David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
>Sent by: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org
>03/12/2009 08:40 AM
>"Ryan Jean" <ryanj@disnetwork.org>
>Re: IE8
>On Mar 12, 2009, at 9:34 AM, Ryan Jean wrote:
><!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, 
>li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal   {margin:0in; 
>margin-bottom:.0001pt; font-size:12.0pt; font- 
>family:"Times New Roman";} a:link, 
>span.MsoHyperlink {color:blue; text- 
>decoration:underline;} a:visited, 
>span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed   {color:purple; 
>text-decoration:underline;} span.EmailStyle17 
>{mso- style-type:personal-compose; 
>font-family:Arial; color:windowtext;}   @page 
>Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 
>1.0in 1.25in;}   div.Section1 {page:Section1;} 
>Does anyone agree that IE8 will have far more accessibility features 
>than either IE6 or IE7? And that it will be the most accessible out of 
>all browsers?
>Ryan Jean
>Assistant IT Specialist
>The Disability Network
>Flint, MI
>Jonnie Appleseed
>with his
>Hands-On Technolog(eye)s
>reducing technology's disabilities
>one byte at a time
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Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
Education Technology Services, TLT/ITS
Penn State University
ejp10@psu.edu, (814) 865-0805 or (814) 865-2030 (Main Office)

210 Rider Building  (formerly Rider II)
227 W. Beaver Avenue
State College, PA   16801-4819
Received on Friday, 20 March 2009 13:54:57 UTC

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