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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK-APPS: representing and rendering symbol characters

/ Bob Stayton <bobs@sco.COM> was heard to say:
| The entity renders properly in IE 5.5, but appears as a "?" in
| Netscape 4.75 on Windows and Netscape 4.76 on Linux.
| I didn't try a Mac.

It doesn't surprise me that these don't render properly on all
platforms with all browsers. For one thing, the browser needs access
to a font that includes the symbol.

| Jirka, are you sure you saw these entities rendered properly
| in "mozilla for Windows" (was that Netscape 4.7)?

Even Mozilla on Linux gets it right. They must have added a Unicode

| Were you perhaps thinking
| that Netscape supports the utf-8 character set?  If
| you render your output as utf-8 and add this:
| <META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html;charset=utf-8">

This whole issue is so murky...

UTF-8 is a scheme for encoding a sequence of characters into a
sequence of octets. UTF-8 has nothing to do with whether or not
&#8734; is rendered. In UTF-8, the character at Unicode position 8734
could be represented as a sequence of three (or possibly four, I don't
recall the precise algorithm) octets.  But after parsing the document,
that sequence and the sequence &#8734; have the same meaning: they
represent Unicode character 8734 which is the infinity symbol.

| The HTML 4.0 spec has been around since 1997, so why haven't
| these standard character entities been implemented in Netscape?

HTML 4.0 explicitly calls out[1] the fact that not all user agents may
be able to display all characters.

| So I think Erik's original question still stands: how do you render
| the symbol font characters universally on all HTML browsers?

You can't.

| It looks like image files are the only universal form.

They aren't. Lynx and wn can't display graphics.

                                        Be seeing you,

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/REC-html40-19980424/charset.html#h-5.4
Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>      | Why shouldn't things be largely
http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/ | absurd, futile, and transitory?
Chair, DocBook Technical Committee | They are so, and we are so, and
                                   | they and we go very well
                                   | together.--Santayana

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