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Re: Best way to markup standards compliant symbols

From: Harry Loots <harry.loots@ieee.org>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 19:19:14 +0100
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
CC: christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be
Message-Id: <20090320181914.M16236@ieee.org>
> I disagree. You only need entity references for characters that have 
> a special meaning in markup, as David Dorward pointed out.

Here's another use for entities: 
To display the Euro symbol if you do not have a Euro symbol on your keyboard
(most of us don't; and the same applies to the GB Pound Sterling symbol). 

There are only four character entities that exist within the seven-bit ASCII
range - the HTML reserved characters, < (&lt;), > (&gt;), & (&amp;), " 
(&quot;). The remainder, unless you specify 'charset' will at best be a
hit-and-miss affair. And most people's pages do not include the Content-Type,
charset attributes. 

> 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.

This is entirely possible for one person or another. If my default browser
setting is ISO-8859 and the page was saved as UTF-8 or Windows-1252 or
whatever (without the charset being specified in the code), then it is likely
that i will have strange characters appear in my browser. The answer is to
specify character set; then also do your audience a favour and convert
non-ASCII characters, including the four mentioned above to entities (HTML-Kit
and other programes will do this on your behalf). That way you can be certain
that the end user see the quote and the pound symbol where intended. 

> >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.

When did accessibility become the sole property of people with disabilities?
If i am unable to view the page, for whatever reason, then the page is by
definition inaccessible to me as a user. 

Warm regards
Received on Friday, 20 March 2009 18:20:09 UTC

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