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Author Topic:   UTF-8?
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 11 (545094)
01-31-2010 9:05 PM


Hi Percy!

Just a quick question; I am wondering if there is any plan to use UTF-8 encoding on the forums in the future, or a implement a system to allow users to choose their own encoding.

Thanks,
Jon


Replies to this message:
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Admin
Director
Posts: 12620
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 2 of 11 (545112)
02-01-2010 8:23 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
01-31-2010 9:05 PM


The encoding is easy to change, just one line, but the current setting (charset=iso-8859-1) is a compromise that seems to allow the most things people post to work. I may have tried utf-8 already, but I can give it another try and see how it goes.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

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Admin
Director
Posts: 12620
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 3 of 11 (545113)
02-01-2010 8:30 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
01-31-2010 9:05 PM


Okay, all set. Let me know how it goes.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

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Admin
Director
Posts: 12620
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 4 of 11 (545114)
02-01-2010 8:37 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
01-31-2010 9:05 PM


Okay, I see the problem with UTF-8. In Chrome, some apostrophes do not display properly, and as I recall there were a large number of characters that had problems in Chrome. Here's an example that is the title of a current thread:

What was God�s plan behind Creation and why does he need one?

Now I imagine that in your browser, as long as it's not Chrome, that the above displays fine. I've already tried it in IE and it's fine. But in Chrome the apostrophe displays as a box.

I suspect a Chrome problem, so let me leave it at UTF-8 and see if there are any complaints (besides me). I'll let Google know about the problem.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

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Huntard
Member (Idle past 549 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 5 of 11 (545115)
02-01-2010 8:48 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Admin
02-01-2010 8:37 AM


Amin writes:

What was God�s plan behind Creation and why does he need one?

Now I imagine that in your browser, as long as it's not Chrome, that the above displays fine. I've already tried it in IE and it's fine. But in Chrome the apostrophe displays as a box.


Actually, in the IE at work it displays as an i with two points on it (don't know the english name (the apostrophe in don't displays fine though)), an upisde down question mark and a 1/2 sign. It's version 6.0 something or other.

I'll check on FF this evening, and if there's still a problem then I'll let you know. Unless somebody else beats me to it, of course.


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Admin
Director
Posts: 12620
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 6 of 11 (545116)
02-01-2010 9:01 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Huntard
02-01-2010 8:48 AM


Huntard writes:

Actually, in the IE at work it displays as an i with two points on it (don't know the english name (the apostrophe in don't displays fine though)), an upisde down question mark and a 1/2 sign. It's version 6.0 something or other.

That would be confusing if you have IE6, since the IE I tested it with was IE6.

Most popular websites like the NYT and ESPN use UTF-8, but in Chrome they all screw up that "�" character, and a number of others, like "�". I think the problem for EvC Forum is that people cut-n-paste from a variety of websites, and a number of them don't use UTF-8, and so I end up getting complaints when the characters don't render properly. I'm going to switch back to ISO-8859-1 for now. If someone has an answer I'm all ears.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

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Huntard
Member (Idle past 549 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 7 of 11 (545117)
02-01-2010 9:13 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Admin
02-01-2010 9:01 AM


Admin writes:

That would be confusing if you have IE6, since the IE I tested it with was IE6.


The full version number is 6.0.2900.2180.xpsp_sp2_gdr.050301-1519

The other symbols you used are displayed in the same way as the apostrophe is God's (though the one I just typed is fine)


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kjsimons
Member
Posts: 670
From: Orlando,FL
Joined: 06-17-2003


Message 8 of 11 (545120)
02-01-2010 10:03 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Admin
02-01-2010 9:01 AM


Percy, as an admin and developer off an internal bug tracking tool that has a web based gui (easier then writing an app that would have to run on UNIX, LINIX, Apples, and Windows), we've run into text display issues as well. We went to using UTF-8 as our company is multinational and needs to support many languages. There is no solution that will solve this display issue as there are many competing encodings that are mutually exclusive of one another. The example you pulled from the "God's plan ..." thread title is probably using a character from the extended ascii encoding which won't display properly in UTF-8.

Edited by kjsimons, : No reason given.


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Codegate
Member (Idle past 55 days)
Posts: 84
From: The Great White North
Joined: 03-15-2006


Message 9 of 11 (545121)
02-01-2010 11:19 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Admin
02-01-2010 9:01 AM


From a developer that regularly deals with character encoding woes.

The key is to make sure that the encoding is maintained through the entire chain. Your web server, your application and your database tables should all be set to UTF-8, if that is the encoding you want to use.

Otherwise, the text stream is changing encoding as it progress up and down the chain and you can end up with some very odd behavior. For example, if a user submits a utf-8 string to your application, which then interprets it as latin-1 (8859-1) which then places it into a database table that treats it like utf8 again. So what you end up with in your DB is a utf8 encoded version of the latin-1 encoding of the original utf8 string provided.

Very bizarre and very annoying to deal with. Single characters that end up taking 12 bytes is a tad wasteful

The moral of the story? Stay consistent with your encodings. Trying to change how string are interpreted can lead to potentially having to rebuild your db tables to match the new encoding (or just living with weird database content).

Good luck!


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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 11 (545123)
02-01-2010 12:04 PM


I guess I am just wondering if there is a way to have it set to use UTF-8 on my display, or allow my browser's display settings to override the forum's, which they can do, but then I must manually reset it everytime I load a page... which is exhausting

The main reason I brought this up was because I use special characters now and then, and also noticed Arach's signature (Hebrew) was displaying as a string of gibberish in the ISO encoding. Is there code to make it a user option?

I guess I will not make more of it, though; this is Percy's forum


[O]ur tiny half-kilogram rock just compeltely fucked up our starship. - Rahvin
Replies to this message:
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kjsimons
Member
Posts: 670
From: Orlando,FL
Joined: 06-17-2003


Message 11 of 11 (545128)
02-01-2010 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Jon
02-01-2010 12:04 PM


Jon, in IE you can disable autoselect under decoding and then choose the encoding you wish to see browser pages in. This will override the page's encoding setting. Click on 'View' and then 'Encoding'. I'm not sure if the same capability exists in Netscape as I don't have that browser loaded on my machines.
This message is a reply to:
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