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REVISED question: history of dash character support

P: n/a
How far back in their version history did Netscape and Internet Explorer
support — and – codes for em and en dashes in text? In ALT
attributes? In TITLE tags?

I notice that Netscape 4.7 and 6 and IE 6 all display these correctly as
dashes even when the charset is specified as ISO-8859-1. Is that supposed to
happen?

--
Harlan Messinger
Remove the first dot from my e-mail address.
Veuillez ๔ter le premier point de mon adresse de courriel.

Jul 20 '05 #1
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P: n/a
"Harlan Messinger" <h.*********@comcast.net> wrote:
How far back in their version history did Netscape and Internet Explorer
support — and – codes for em and en dashes in text?
Both since version 4.0, IIRC.
In ALT attributes?
Earlier versions of MS Windows (such as 95, 98) used a default system
bitmap font for "pop-ups" that had no dashes.
<http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/charset/browsers-fonts.html#controlpanel>
In TITLE tags?
Depends mostly on the font used for TITLE; see above.
I notice that Netscape 4.7 and 6 and IE 6 all display these correctly as
dashes even when the charset is specified as ISO-8859-1.


Unix Netscapes 4.x display – and — as question mark for
"charset=UTF-8".

--
Top posting.
What's the most irritating thing on Usenet?
Jul 20 '05 #2

P: n/a
"Harlan Messinger" <h.*********@comcast.net> wrote:
Just to be clear--are you saying that – and — *do* work on the
Mac? In the usual browsers?


Of course. Even less problems than in MS Windows or Unices.

--
Top posting.
What's the most irritating thing on Usenet?
Jul 20 '05 #3

P: n/a
In article <bg************@ID-114100.news.uni-berlin.de> in
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html, Harlan Messinger
<h.*********@comcast.net> wrote:
I notice that Netscape 4.7 and 6 and IE 6 all display these correctly as
dashes even when the charset is specified as ISO-8859-1. Is that supposed to
happen?


The charset specifies the _input_, i.e. the encoding of the page as
passed by the server to your browser, not the _output_, the
character repertoire that can be seen by the end user. The numeric
references are there precisely so that you can show more characters
on the user's screen than your computer supports in a text document.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
HTML 4.01 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
validator: http://validator.w3.org/
CSS 2 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/
validator: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
Jul 20 '05 #4

P: n/a

"Stan Brown" <th************@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
news:MP************************@news.odyssey.net.. .
In article <bg************@ID-114100.news.uni-berlin.de> in
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html, Harlan Messinger
<h.*********@comcast.net> wrote:
I notice that Netscape 4.7 and 6 and IE 6 all display these correctly as
dashes even when the charset is specified as ISO-8859-1. Is that supposed tohappen?


The charset specifies the _input_, i.e. the encoding of the page as
passed by the server to your browser, not the _output_, the
character repertoire that can be seen by the end user. The numeric
references are there precisely so that you can show more characters
on the user's screen than your computer supports in a text document.


Now I got it. Thanks for the explanations. If I understand correctly, that
means that when a charset of ISO-8859-1 is indicated, one is free to type
"้" directly into the HTML document instead of using the entity code
"&eacute;", whereas if the charset is specified as US-ASCII, then one has to
use "&eacute;" (or the numeric equivalent). Is that right?

Jul 20 '05 #5

P: n/a
On Tue, Aug 5, Jukka K. Korpela inscribed on the eternal scroll:
Yes, that's correct. The FAQ is getting a bit dusty (allusions intended),
but it has a fairly nice explanation of this:
http://www.htmlhelp.com/faq/html/bas...l#special-char


True enough. The content, as far as it goes, is still accurate I
think, but the emphasis is hardly appropriate for current usage, is
it?

And the reference to browsers which run on MS-DOS is surely a distinct
rarity nowadays! That Czech MS-DOS browser - Arachne - has I think
long-since sorted out its confusion with DOS character coding; and
running Lynx under DOS must be very much a minority sport, no?

So some of the historical bits could be cleared out, and modern bits
added.

However, the key to this whole area - and I think we've seen that
demonstrated again by this thread (no disrepect intended to the
questioner) - is that there is widespread misunderstanding and lack of
knowledge of the HTML4 (RFC2070) character representation model, and
that seems to be the hardest piece of the puzzle to remedy. With some
folks it's doubly hard, because they are *convinced* that they already
know all the theoretical stuff, when in fact what they "know" is
fundamentally wrong. That's the very hardest kind of case to handle,
in all walks of life ;-}

(If *only* the MIME folks hadn't given us the attribute "charset" to
refer - not to a "character set" as it's understood nowadays - but to
the character *encoding*.)

best regards

--
The CPU had all its registers represented on the front panel by the neon
lights; there were 8 48-bit cache registers neatly aligned - a perfect
way for the kernel to communicate with operators "if everything else fails".
Today we have to count beep signals from the BIOS. - BESM-6 nostalgia page
Jul 20 '05 #6

P: n/a
In article <bg************@ID-114100.news.uni-berlin.de> in
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html, Harlan Messinger
<h.*********@comcast.net> wrote:
If I understand correctly, that
means that when a charset of ISO-8859-1 is indicated, one is free to type
"้" directly into the HTML document instead of using the entity code
"&eacute;", whereas if the charset is specified as US-ASCII, then one has to
use "&eacute;" (or the numeric equivalent). Is that right?


Right.

However, I still recommend &eacute; or é because that gives you
greater flexibility if you later need to change your claimed
encoding scheme, say to support additional languages. Alan Flavell's
page
http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/...checklist.html
is the usual reference.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
HTML 4.01 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
validator: http://validator.w3.org/
CSS 2 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/
validator: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
Jul 20 '05 #7

P: n/a

"Alan J. Flavell" <fl*****@mail.cern.ch> wrote in message
news:Pi*******************************@lxplus078.c ern.ch...

(If *only* the MIME folks hadn't given us the attribute "charset" to
refer - not to a "character set" as it's understood nowadays - but to
the character *encoding*.)


Off-topic, but: Besides the famously misspelled "HTTP_REFERER" header, my
favorite unfortunate misnomer comes with Merant's Collage web content
management system. As you probably know, a book may start with a prolog[ue],
or may end with an epilog[ue]. There's an XML markup tag that can be used in
web pages in Collage that provides for dynamic insertion of formatted
navigation links. Within this tag, two other tags can be inserted that
indicate code to insert before or after the list of links. Somehow, these
tags got named "<prelog>" (a non-existent word) for the code that goes
before, and, sadly, "<prolog>" for the code that goes afterward.

Jul 20 '05 #8

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