Re: UTF-8 in web pages

From: Adrian HAVILL (
Date: Mon Feb 08 1999 - 03:52:35 EST

I think what that person meant was that if you use UTF-8 and you're
using characters above U+00FF, you have to be very careful to explicitly
set the font (through a stylesheet or a <FONT>), because many browsers
(even Japanese localized ones) have Arial and Courier set as the
"default" font for UTF-8... which are absolutely useless for non-western
European languages such as Japanese.

So if you're converting legacy EUC-JP or Shift_JIS to UTF-8 for a web
page, you can't just use a converter utility and then set the server to
return "charset=utf-8" in the Content-Type... you also have to add
specific font overrides to the HTML and/or CSS because few users bother
to change the default setting for their character set encodings.

Chris Pratley wrote:
> >>And most do not come configured for UTF-8 out of the box, which is the
> real
> >>show-stopper now for more widespread use of that charset.
> Actually, if you measure by number of users, I think UTF-8 capable browsers
> are easily over 50% now. UTF-8 works well in Internet Explorer 4.01 and
> higher, and from what I can tell it seems to function in Navigator 4.03 and
> higher. Together, current research shows that those two (and later versions
> of them) plus other browsers based on IE technologies (and Tango) account
> for somewhere around 75% of the installed user base. So, we're making
> progress. (Note that things work much better in these browsers if you label
> the file as UTF-8 using the META tag).

> BTW Chris Wendt can comment, but I believe that IE also uses the lang
> attribute to pick a suitable font, if one is available.

Could you provide a URL to documentation about this feature? Thanks.

Adrian D. Havill; Chief Developer;
Development Section, Service Department, System Division,
InterQ, inc.; "Internet for Everyone!"

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