W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > March 2001

Re: Character set question

From: Bertilo Wennergren <bertilow@chello.se>
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 15:22:03 +0100
Message-ID: <001001c0afb6$cf790f20$536859d5@chello.se>
To: "Nick Kew" <nick@webthing.com>, <www-validator@w3.org>, "Mario Lia" <antilyrical@spamcop.net>
Nick Kew:

> > > What is buggy in Netscape 4 ??

> > It can't show Unicode characters outside of the current character
> > encoding. So you'll have to turn on utf-8 (or utf-7) to make Netscape
> > realise it can show such characters.

> Charset encoding is something on which I am basically ignorant.

I see...
 
> But it occurs to me that charset support is properly a function of the
> operating system, not of an application such as Netscape.  Indeed,
> whenever I install an OS[1] or compile a kernel, *I* select what charsets
> I want it to support.  Why should Netscape re-invent that wheel?

It does. Nescape handles all this encoding stuff all by itself.
 
> Or are you saying Netscape can't use the charsets you do have on your OS?
> And if so, is that a setup issue (as with fonts, where it needs a
> fontpath to work) or a genuine bug?

It can use any charset it knows about.

Regardless of the character endocing being used you should always be
able to insert any Unicode character into the page using "&#number;". 
Netscape can interpret such codes, but if the charater that is reffered 
to happens to be outside of the repertoire of the encoding of the page, 
Netscape forgets that it knows how to display the character and shows a
question mark instead - even if the character is present in the font
Netscape is actually using at the moment!

So, if you actually use only ASCII and "&#number;" for any non-ASCII
characters, but set the encoding to e.g. "iso-8859-1" then Netscape
refuses to display any characters that are outside of "iso-8859-1".
But if you set the encoding to "utf-8" then it suddenly can display
any character.

"&#number;" should be totally independent of the encoding.

If you want to understand this stuff better have a look at these
excellent pages:

  <http://www.malibutelecom.com/yucca/chars.html>
  <http://www.malibutelecom.com/yucca/html/chars.html>

#####################################################################
                         Bertilo Wennergren
                 <http://purl.oclc.org/net/bertilo>
                        <bertilow@chello.se>
#####################################################################
Received on Sunday, 18 March 2001 09:14:50 GMT

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