Re: Designing a multilingual web site

From: Michael \(michka\) Kaplan (
Date: Sat Jul 15 2000 - 22:54:58 EDT

(thanks for including me on thee cc:line, I am flattered!)

UTF-8 is an acceptable alternative for text on from any code page (and it is
the really the only alternative for multilingual pages since design tools on
the Windows platform outside of notepad cannot handle UTF-16 or UTF-32).

The updates on the Unicode site are being done for all new pages and for the
rest as they have time.

The only features you lose:

1) There is an exceedingly small percentage of browsers that cannot
understand UTF-8.
2) You lose the ability to get script-less auto-download of language support
for ARA/HEB/THA/VIE/CHT/CHS/KOR/JPN for people using IE 5.0/5.01/5.5/etc.

If it were for not for #2 and the fact that most of my localizers give me
encoded pages that use their own preferences, I would have all my pages as
UTF-8, too. I certainly use it for multilingual pages and pages without a
real charset to use, like

If anyone has leads or ideas for languages not yet on the provincial page, I
am actively looking to get more (its now at 112 languages!)


----- Original Message -----
From: "Munzir Taha" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Saturday, July 15, 2000 7:38 PM
Subject: Designing a multilingual web site

> I am designing a multilingual web site. I need to enter text in more than
> languages. I don't know about the limitations I have nor the obstacles I
> could meet. I noticed in the Unicode site that they are using a utf-8
> charset in the page that contains different languages and 1252 in the
> others. I posted a question about this and received the answer that they
> now updating the site to the utf-8 charset. I can't understand why it
> not that easy. I previously thought that to enter text in different
> languages is not more than using utf-8 and that is all.
> Is there any problem I could face if I just used utf-8 for the whole site?
> utf-8 and utf-16 and Unicode is still makes me confused. Which is right?
> In FrontPage 2000 under Windows 2000 I couldn't change the banner text to
> any language but English (It seems as FrontPage dialog boxes accepts
> but the system language, what can I do)? Although I am enabling Arabic but
> it appears wrong when I use it in dialog boxes.
> In notepad under win2k I have the option to save as Unicode, utf-8,
> big endian. What this stuff mean?
> Thanks in advance,
> You are doing great work.
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