Re: Mixing languages on a Web site

From: Antoine Leca (
Date: Fri Jun 30 2000 - 09:18:45 EDT wrote:
> wrote:
> > 3) How do I mark text as UTF-8?
> In your <head> section:
> <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
> Theoretically, you don't need this: Unicode (UTF-16 or UTF-8) are the
> default for the web. In practice, however, each different browser behaves in
> a slightly different way, so it can be a good idea to use the explicit
> declaration.

Hmmm. Writing from top of my head (which is *not* the good way to go in
such a list), I understood that Unicode was the default character set,
meaning that &#65; is supposed to be a Latin 'A' and &#x431; is supposed
to be Cyrilic 'a'.

OTOH, I believe that for upward compatibility, the default encoding (i.e.
how the actual bytes are supposed to be understood) is supposed to
be iso-8859-1, not utf-8. (and if it begins with or , the browser
is advised to test if reading the file as utf-16 is not a better idea...)

> > 4) Will people actually be able to SEE BOTH the Japanese AND
> > the Turkish?
> Yes, provided they have a UTF-8 enabled browser and a font with all
> necessary glyphs.

Well, with current generation browsers (IE5 or Netscape 6), it can even
work with a font for Japanese and a different font for Turkish.

> > 6) Is there a "Unicode Help" site so people like me don't
> > have to post these questions on lists like these?
> I think this mailing list is the proper place [...]

Yes, but wouldn't it be a very good idea to resume these answers in some
FAQ at Unicode (or W3C) site, allow the Web sites to link relevant
informations from everywhere in a convenient way, particularly for the
poorer guys that cannot afford testing all the cases with all browsers
(also, it can then be easily translated to a bunch of languages).

Perhaps this pertains more to W3C than Unicode, though.


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