Symbols charset problem

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Sid Ismail, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. Sid Ismail

    Sid Ismail Guest

    Hi all, esp. Jukka who is also a bridge enthusiast,

    I am trying my utmost in solving this mystery, and I need help badly.
    My shrink cannot assist.

    Have a look at http://www.elsid.co.za/symbols.html and tell me what I
    should do locally to be able to view the symbols as they _should_ be
    seen.

    My thanks in advance!

    Sid
     
    Sid Ismail, Jun 12, 2006
    #1
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  2. In article <>,
    Sid Ismail <> wrote:

    > Hi all, esp. Jukka who is also a bridge enthusiast,
    >
    > I am trying my utmost in solving this mystery, and I need help badly.
    > My shrink cannot assist.
    >
    > Have a look at http://www.elsid.co.za/symbols.html and tell me what I
    > should do locally to be able to view the symbols as they _should_ be
    > seen.


    Hi Sid,
    I am afraid you will have to turn to your shrink, because the problem is
    all in your head! The symbols display perfectly for me under Safari and
    Opera (8.5).

    But wait, you say you're using Firefox? Ah, now I understand...I see the
    same problem, even when I use numeric entity references like ♠
    (spades). I thought that changing to a different font might fix the
    problem, but FF stubbornly displays them as horizontal and vertical
    bars. I'm not sure why it is doing that. I'll clear the stage for
    someone (like Jukka) who knows the details.

    HTH

    --
    Philip
    http://NiktaTheSpider.com/
    Bulk HTML validation, link checking and more
     
    Philip Semanchuk, Jun 12, 2006
    #2
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  3. Sid Ismail

    Sid Ismail Guest

    On Sun, 11 Jun 2006 23:36:53 GMT, Philip Semanchuk
    <> wrote:

    : I am afraid you will have to turn to your shrink, because the problem is
    : all in your head! The symbols display perfectly for me under Safari and
    : Opera (8.5).

    Hi

    It displays fine at the bottom of my URL quoted -
    http://www.elsid.co.za/symbols.html , but look at the image t the top
    (grey background) which is a snapshot of what I see using IE6. :)

    BTW, the problem exists in FF as well...

    Sid
     
    Sid Ismail, Jun 12, 2006
    #3
  4. In article <>,
    Sid Ismail <> wrote:

    > On Sun, 11 Jun 2006 23:36:53 GMT, Philip Semanchuk
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > : I am afraid you will have to turn to your shrink, because the problem is
    > : all in your head! The symbols display perfectly for me under Safari and
    > : Opera (8.5).
    >
    > Hi
    >
    > It displays fine at the bottom of my URL quoted -
    > http://www.elsid.co.za/symbols.html , but look at the image t the top
    > (grey background) which is a snapshot of what I see using IE6. :)
    >
    > BTW, the problem exists in FF as well...


    I was unclear; by "displays perfectly for me under Safari and Opera
    (8.5)" I meant that the &hearts; entity reference appears as a heart,
    &clubs; appears as a club, etc. in those browsers. Since you say that
    the image at the top of the page is from IE6, it looks like FF is the
    odd one out here by displaying them as horizontal and vertical lines
    instead of card suits.

    BTW, I should have mentioned that the charset hasn't got anything to do
    with this problem. The charset just tells the browser how to translate
    the individual bytes of the file into a string of characters. The
    browser first sees the file as a stream of individual bytes. It then
    uses the charset (e.g. US-ASCII, UTF-8, ISO-8859-1, etc.) to translate
    those bytes into individual characters. Once that translation is done,
    the charset doesn't matter anymore. If the translated characters contain
    "&hearts;" or "♥" then the browser should (AFAICT) display a
    heart symbol. In short, the charset is a red herring in this problem.
    Nevertheless, you should always specify one because not doing so can
    cause lots of other problems.

    --
    Philip
    http://NiktaTheSpider.com/
    Bulk HTML validation, link checking and more
     
    Philip Semanchuk, Jun 12, 2006
    #4
  5. On Mon, 12 Jun 2006, Sid Ismail wrote:

    > Have a look at http://www.elsid.co.za/symbols.html and tell me what I
    > should do locally to be able to view the symbols as they _should_ be
    > seen.


    Initial impression is that it works. And that it has *nothing* to do
    with your "Subject:" header!!!

    Looking at the cited page
    http://www.worldbridge.org/tourn/Verona.06/Bulletin/Bul0305.htm it
    represents the suits by &spades; &hearts; etc., which is technically
    correct (might not be supported by some older browser/versions).

    The page has no server-supplied charset specification, but it contains
    the second-best substitute, a meta http-equiv, claiming iso-8859-1
    (which, as we will see, is a lie, but doesn't affect the issue you
    seem to be complaining about). Some older browser/versions (notably
    NN4.*) would only be able to display this if the character coding was
    stated to be utf-8, but that's a browser bug: the page in question is
    OK.

    HTML validation shows that it contains some defective characters, but
    they aren't the suits: see
    http://validator.w3.org/check?verbo...idge.org/tourn/Verona.06/Bulletin/Bul0305.htm
    which contains some advice on how to correct those errors. Changing
    the character encoding to windows-1252 would be a quick workaround,
    but it would be better not to rely on a proprietary encoding.

    Coming back to http://www.elsid.co.za/symbols.html , it has neither
    HTTP-specified nor meta...http-equiv specification of character
    encoding, so all bets are off.

    The validator guesses that it's utf-8 and refuses to even try to
    validate it, which is technically correct. If I force iso-8859-1 and
    HTML/4.01 transitional, there are still far too many irrelevant errors
    to be able to spot the real ones, but you still have at least one
    Windows-specific (non-iso-8859-1) character in there.

    > My thanks in advance!


    Well, there's quite a bit wrong with both pages, but none of the
    faults seem to be quite the one that you're complaining about, and the
    "Subject" header is still **VERY** misleading, as there is no use of a
    "Symbol encoding" nor a Symbol font in here (which would anyway be
    bogus in proper HTML).
     
    Alan J. Flavell, Jun 12, 2006
    #5
  6. Sid Ismail

    Sid Ismail Guest

    On Mon, 12 Jun 2006 00:13:04 GMT, Philip Semanchuk
    <> wrote:

    : If the translated characters contain
    : "&hearts;" or "♥" then the browser should (AFAICT) display a
    : heart symbol.


    That's my problem. &spades is not a spade.

    Sid
     
    Sid Ismail, Jun 12, 2006
    #6
  7. Sid Ismail

    Sid Ismail Guest

    On Mon, 12 Jun 2006 11:35:52 +0100, "Alan J. Flavell"
    <> wrote:

    : Well, there's quite a bit wrong with both pages, but none of the
    : faults seem to be quite the one that you're complaining about, and the
    : "Subject" header is still **VERY** misleading, as there is no use of a
    : "Symbol encoding" nor a Symbol font in here (which would anyway be
    : bogus in proper HTML).


    OK - subject line should be "&spade not displayed as a spade"

    Is there anything I need to do/install on my PC to correct it?

    Sid
     
    Sid Ismail, Jun 12, 2006
    #7
  8. On Mon, 12 Jun 2006, Sid Ismail wrote:

    > OK - subject line should be "&spade not displayed as a spade"
    >
    > Is there anything I need to do/install on my PC to correct it?


    That may depend on the browser you were trying it with. If, as I
    guess from your remarks, you're using MesSIE, I'd suggest going to its
    fonts menu and setting (for the "Latin" writing system, paradoxical as
    it may seem) the font "Lucida Sans Unicode", assuming that you already
    have it installed by default.

    Take a note of what was selected there before, and tell us so that we
    can all have a laugh...

    Test pages here: http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/unicode/
    in your case particularly:
    http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/unicode/unidata26.html

    Background information (probably more than you want!) here:
    http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/charset/browsers-fonts.html

    You might also consider upgrading to a decent *web* browser - SCNR.
     
    Alan J. Flavell, Jun 12, 2006
    #8
  9. In article <>,
    Sid Ismail <> wrote:

    > On Mon, 12 Jun 2006 11:35:52 +0100, "Alan J. Flavell"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > : Well, there's quite a bit wrong with both pages, but none of the
    > : faults seem to be quite the one that you're complaining about, and the
    > : "Subject" header is still **VERY** misleading, as there is no use of a
    > : "Symbol encoding" nor a Symbol font in here (which would anyway be
    > : bogus in proper HTML).
    >
    >
    > OK - subject line should be "&spade not displayed as a spade"
    >
    > Is there anything I need to do/install on my PC to correct it?


    Sid,
    As we've discovered, some browsers will display these the way you want
    them to and some won't. Whether or not you can cajole your PC into
    displaying them is kind of beside the point, unless you expect everyone
    who visits your Web page to do the same thing to their PC (assuming they
    even have a PC). This might be the case for you; perhaps you're just
    creating a Web game for your family to play or something like that. But
    if you're creating a page for use by the general public, it will be
    broken for a significant portion of your visitors.

    Learning how to fix the problem on your PC might be enlightening as far
    as understanding the root of the problem (I'm curious as to whether it
    is a font issue or not) but it probably won't solve the larger problem
    of how you can get these symbols to display on a Web page. Methinks you
    will have to resort to graphics.

    HTH

    --
    Philip
    http://NiktaTheSpider.com/
    Bulk HTML validation, link checking and more
     
    Philip Semanchuk, Jun 12, 2006
    #9
  10. Sid Ismail

    Sid Ismail Guest

    On Mon, 12 Jun 2006 16:20:08 GMT, Philip Semanchuk
    <> wrote:

    : Methinks you
    : will have to resort to graphics.


    Sure, I do - when I create the page. :)
    Look at http://myweb.absa.co.za/elsid/hands.html e.g.

    When the World Bridge Federation put something up, I have a problem.
    I have complained many times, but they will not change to images. :(

    I have IE6 and FF, btw.

    Thanks all for your input - I will play around with browser settings,
    and kick the damn thingy. If I find the solution, I will let you all
    know. :)

    Sid
     
    Sid Ismail, Jun 12, 2006
    #10
  11. In article <>,
    Sid Ismail <> wrote:

    > On Mon, 12 Jun 2006 16:20:08 GMT, Philip Semanchuk
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > : Methinks you
    > : will have to resort to graphics.
    >
    >
    > Sure, I do - when I create the page. :)
    > Look at http://myweb.absa.co.za/elsid/hands.html e.g.
    >
    > When the World Bridge Federation put something up, I have a problem.
    > I have complained many times, but they will not change to images. :(


    If you spend a lot of time on that site and the problem is really
    annoying to you, you might want to consider grabbing a copy of Opera.
    It's free, it's fast (faster than FF), has high standards compliance and
    renders the &hearts;, &spades; etc. as you would like them to. If it
    wasn't for Chris Pederick's Web Developer toolbar extension for FF,
    Opera might be my main browser.


    > I have IE6 and FF, btw.
    >
    > Thanks all for your input - I will play around with browser settings,
    > and kick the damn thingy. If I find the solution, I will let you all
    > know. :)


    Do that! And also address the validation and encoding issues that Alan
    Flavell pointed out. Even though they're not causing the problem here,
    they're likely to cause other problems and it is much easier to debug
    HTML quirks when you can eliminate invalid HTML and encoding as
    potential problem sources.

    Good luck

    --
    Bye,
    Philip
    http://NiktaTheSpider.com/
    Bulk HTML validation, link checking and more
     
    Philip Semanchuk, Jun 12, 2006
    #11
  12. Sid Ismail

    Ed Mulroy Guest

    > ... If it wasn't for Chris Pederick's Web Developer toolbar extension
    > for FF, Opera might be my main browser.


    Do you have a link for that toolbar extension?

    Thanks in advance,
    .. Ed

    > Philip Semanchuk wrote in message
    > news:...
     
    Ed Mulroy, Jun 12, 2006
    #12
  13. Ed Mulroy wrote:

    [Philip Semanchuk wrote:]
    >> ... If it wasn't for Chris Pederick's Web Developer toolbar extension
    >> for FF, Opera might be my main browser.

    >
    > Do you have a link for that toolbar extension?


    Google is your friend.
    http://chrispederick.com/work/webdeveloper/

    --
    -bts
    -Warning: I brake for lawn deer
     
    Beauregard T. Shagnasty, Jun 12, 2006
    #13
  14. Sid Ismail

    Ed Mulroy Guest

    Ed Mulroy, Jun 12, 2006
    #14
  15. Philip Semanchuk wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > Sid Ismail <> wrote:
    >
    >> On Mon, 12 Jun 2006 16:20:08 GMT, Philip Semanchuk
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >> : Methinks you
    >> : will have to resort to graphics.
    >>
    >>
    >> Sure, I do - when I create the page. :)
    >> Look at http://myweb.absa.co.za/elsid/hands.html e.g.
    >>
    >> When the World Bridge Federation put something up, I have a problem.
    >> I have complained many times, but they will not change to images. :(

    >
    > If you spend a lot of time on that site and the problem is really
    > annoying to you, you might want to consider grabbing a copy of Opera.
    > It's free, it's fast (faster than FF), has high standards compliance and
    > renders the &hearts;, &spades; etc. as you would like them to. If it
    > wasn't for Chris Pederick's Web Developer toolbar extension for FF,
    > Opera might be my main browser.
    >


    Funny, but this displays correctly in FF and seamonkey

    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
    <html>
    <head>
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
    </head>
    <body>
    <p style="font-size: 3em">
    spades = &spades;<br>
    hearts = &hearts;<br>
    clubs = &clubs;<br>
    diams = &diams;
    </p>
    </body>
    </html>

    and is in 'quirks mode' and using same entities and as:

    http://www.worldbridge.org/tourn/Verona.06/Bulletin/Bul0305.htm

    which fails! must be something else.

    --
    Take care,

    Jonathan
    -------------------
    LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
    http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
     
    Jonathan N. Little, Jun 12, 2006
    #15
  16. In article <d3dfe$448dd0fc$40cba78d$>,
    "Jonathan N. Little" <> wrote:
    > Funny, but this displays correctly in FF and seamonkey
    >
    > <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
    > <html>
    > <head>
    > <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
    > </head>
    > <body>
    > <p style="font-size: 3em">
    > spades = &spades;<br>
    > hearts = &hearts;<br>
    > clubs = &clubs;<br>
    > diams = &diams;
    > </p>
    > </body>
    > </html>
    >
    > and is in 'quirks mode' and using same entities and as:
    >
    > http://www.worldbridge.org/tourn/Verona.06/Bulletin/Bul0305.htm
    >
    > which fails! must be something else.


    How odd...that HTML does *not* work for me using FF 1.5.0.4 under OS X
    10.3.9. I still get horizontal and vertical bars instead of card suits.
    I tried about a dozen different fonts (mainstream like Helvetica and
    Palatino and some offbeat ones too) and got the same in every case, so I
    get the feeling this is not a font issue.

    May I ask for your FF version and platform?

    --
    Bye,
    Philip
    http://NikitaTheSpider.com/
    Bulk HTML validation, link checking and more
     
    Philip Semanchuk, Jun 12, 2006
    #16
  17. On Mon, 12 Jun 2006, Philip Semanchuk wrote:

    > Sid Ismail <> wrote:
    >
    > > When the World Bridge Federation put something up, I have a problem.
    > > I have complained many times, but they will not change to images. :(


    Nor should they! The key part of what you were asking about, is
    proper HTML4, and has been working since at least NN4.08,[1] that's
    nearly a decade ago. The days of fooling around with images instead
    of characters which are and have been part of HTML4 for ages is gone
    and should be forgotten.

    MSIE may be the only cripple still yearning for the old days, but even
    that old thing is still capable of doing the job if its user shows it
    just a little TLC.

    > If you spend a lot of time on that site and the problem is really
    > annoying to you, you might want to consider grabbing a copy of Opera.


    I don't see the point in recommending a specific web browser. Pretty
    much any WWW-compatible browser will do the job nowadays. As I say,
    MSIE is today's cripple that needs a helping hand - but, just like the
    obsolete NN4.* before it, the task is solve-able, for any reader who
    has the slightest interest in the content.

    > It's free, it's fast (faster than FF), has high standards compliance and
    > renders the &hearts;, &spades; etc. as you would like them to.


    As does pretty much any browser. I could show you these characters
    working on Lynx.

    > If it wasn't for Chris Pederick's Web Developer toolbar extension
    > for FF, Opera might be my main browser.


    You're giving the entirely unwarranted impression that Firefox (or
    Moz/Seamonkey) could not do this job. That's completely wrong, as my
    experience shows. What basis do you have for supposing that it can't?
    I'd like to work out what you're getting wrong.

    > Do that! And also address the validation and encoding issues that Alan
    > Flavell pointed out. Even though they're not causing the problem here,
    > they're likely to cause other problems and it is much easier to debug
    > HTML quirks when you can eliminate invalid HTML and encoding as
    > potential problem sources.


    Indeed, good advice.

    regards

    [1] with NN4.08 one would have needed to code the appropriate
    references instead of &spades; etc., but NN4 is past history
    now.
     
    Alan J. Flavell, Jun 12, 2006
    #17
  18. On Mon, 12 Jun 2006, Jonathan N. Little wrote:

    (of Firefox:)

    > and is in 'quirks mode' and using same entities and as:
    >
    > http://www.worldbridge.org/tourn/Verona.06/Bulletin/Bul0305.htm
    >
    > which fails!


    Try disabling the author's CSS, or zooming the browser to a larger
    text size.

    Seems to me that they are trying to display these glyphs at too small
    a size for the font. Well, it looked OK on my office display, but,
    now that I look at the same thing on the laptop, I can see the same
    defect that was evident in the O.P's screenshot. As soon as I disable
    CSS, however, the page looks fine.
     
    Alan J. Flavell, Jun 12, 2006
    #18
  19. Sid Ismail

    Sid Ismail Guest

    On Mon, 12 Jun 2006 13:27:27 +0100, "Alan J. Flavell"
    <> wrote:

    : On Mon, 12 Jun 2006, Sid Ismail wrote:
    :
    : > OK - subject line should be "&spade not displayed as a spade"
    : >
    : > Is there anything I need to do/install on my PC to correct it?
    :
    : That may depend on the browser you were trying it with. If, as I
    : guess from your remarks, you're using MesSIE, I'd suggest going to its
    : fonts menu and setting (for the "Latin" writing system, paradoxical as
    : it may seem) the font "Lucida Sans Unicode", assuming that you already
    : have it installed by default.
    :
    : Take a note of what was selected there before, and tell us so that we
    : can all have a laugh...
    :
    : Test pages here: http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/unicode/
    : in your case particularly:
    : http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/unicode/unidata26.html
    :
    : Background information (probably more than you want!) here:
    : http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/charset/browsers-fonts.html
    :
    : You might also consider upgrading to a decent *web* browser - SCNR.


    OK - found the problem. It is the Verdana font that I have installed
    that causes it. The website uses external CSS link files that have
    font-family:verdana, helvetica,... If I remove the stylesheet
    (verdana font), then it renders correctly using my default (Times
    Roman).

    I am now going to delete the Verdana I have (quirky) and re-installing
    it from http://simplythebest.net/fonts/fonts/verdana.html. Maybe
    that'll solve my problem. Thanks all!

    Sid
     
    Sid Ismail, Jun 13, 2006
    #19
  20. In article <Pine.WNT.4.64.0606122321420.2068@ZORIN>,
    "Alan J. Flavell" <> wrote:
    > On Mon, 12 Jun 2006, Philip Semanchuk wrote:
    > > If you spend a lot of time on that site and the problem is really
    > > annoying to you, you might want to consider grabbing a copy of Opera.

    >
    > I don't see the point in recommending a specific web browser. Pretty
    > much any WWW-compatible browser will do the job nowadays. As I say,
    > MSIE is today's cripple that needs a helping hand - but, just like the
    > obsolete NN4.* before it, the task is solve-able, for any reader who
    > has the slightest interest in the content.


    I thought the OP stated that FF and IE weren't displaying the symbols
    correctly for him, and I wanted him to be aware that there was an
    alternative.

    > > If it wasn't for Chris Pederick's Web Developer toolbar extension
    > > for FF, Opera might be my main browser.

    >
    > You're giving the entirely unwarranted impression that Firefox (or
    > Moz/Seamonkey) could not do this job. That's completely wrong, as my
    > experience shows. What basis do you have for supposing that it can't?
    > I'd like to work out what you're getting wrong.


    I beg your pardon, I'm not supposing anything at all. I'm reporting
    exactly what I've experienced. As I stated to the OP and also in
    response to Jonathan Little's simplified example, the characters display
    as horizontal and vertical bars for me using FF 1.5.0.4 under OS X
    10.3.9.

    Bugzilla reveals that this has been an on-off issue with Mozilla on the
    Mac since 2003:
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=212745

    --
    Philip
    http://NikitaTheSpider.com/
    Bulk HTML validation, link checking and more
     
    Philip Semanchuk, Jun 13, 2006
    #20
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