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Subject: smart quotes are acting stupid in Firefox & IE; why?

This problem might not be related to Docbook, but here goes:

I'm producing epub3 output using the latest stylesheets. I am cutting and pasting a lot of things from MS Word 2013 (and often using a utility program to clean up the Word garbage).

As you know, MS Word automatically changes quotes to smart quotes and so my docbook source in Oxygen editor includes smart quotes and not normal quotes.

In the past, I have globally replaced these things with regular quotes, but I recently read that smart quotes are considered  good form for ebooks. So i'm trying to figure out a way to do that. I noticed by the way that Oxygen has an Autocorrect option for replacing quotes with smart quotes. http://www.oxygenxml.com/doc/ug-editor-mobile/topics/autocorrect-preferences-page.html

I know that epub/epub3 support utf, so I suspect that viewing output in ebook readers would be no problem. But I noticed that when I try to view the individual html files in the OEBPUS directory with a browser  Firefox and IE doesn't render them properly. (Chrome is ok). If I change the encoding to UTF in the browser settings, then the problem is fixed.

Which raises the question: why would IE and Firefox assume that the encoding settings would be Western European (for IE) or Western-1252 in the first place?

I would like a solution which renders in a web browser not only for testing but because I could imagine that output could be reused later.
 Here's what I see at the top of XHTML page:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?>
<!DOCTYPE html
  PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml11/DTD/xhtml11.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head xmlns:h="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<title>Day 1 to 15</title><link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="books.css"/><meta name="generator" content="DocBook XSL Stylesheets V1.78.1"/></head><bo

My wordpress weblog has practically the same thing but the browser knows to render it in utf encoding. 

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" lang="en-US"> <head profile="http://gmpg.org/xfn/11"> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />

For people who are rendering in chunked HTML or XHTML, what do they do to make sure that these encoding issues don't occur? 

Robert Nagle
6121 Winsome Ln #56C, Houston TX 77057-5581
(H) 713 893 3424/ (W) 832-251-7522 Carbon Neutral Since Jan 2010

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