[thelist] HTML chars vs. Symbol font etc.

rudy r937 at interlog.com
Thu Jun 7 21:46:14 CDT 2001

> I have users who now say they can see one but not the
> other, and vice versa, and some not either... they look
> like other chars, or squares... whatever.  What is the
> standard protocol on the web for dealing with this sort
> of thing?  I don't "own" a symbol font as creator so I
> don't know if it's legal for me to offer it as a download...
> I can refer to upgrading browsers but it'd be nice if it
> were simply readable for everyone ... am I dreaming??

hi palyne

downloading a font is a non-starter as a solution -- it's like downloading
an applet, technically feasible but guaranteed to drive away visitors

upgrading browsers has nothing to do with the platform they are running on,
which is what i think is at the root of the problem -- imagine how a
customer on a 33.6k modem is gonna feel after downloading and installing a
24meg browser only to discover your page *still* has them little squares...

so are you dreaming?  no, i think there is a solution

you mentioned that the site you inherited had a lot of "symbol font"

for the sake of argument, let's say this was the Windows Symbol font, and
let's say the page was using one of the two trademark symbols -- alt+0212
and alt-0228 -- available in that font

so if your code contains <font face="Symbol">&#212;</font> or <font
face="Symbol">&#228;</font> then what's gonna happen if the page visitor
doesn't have that font?  your guess is as good as mine, but in good old
Times New Roman they'll see Ô and ä respectively

(and no, for those of you who think the trademark symbol is &#153, it

so the standard protocol on the web would be to choose a standard character
set like iso-8859-1 and then use only code points from that set, or better
yet, only standard entities --

of course, this means a lengthy session with your search&replace tool du
jour, but hey, the more you use it the better you get...


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