Re: Major site in unicode?

From: George Zeigler (
Date: Sat Sep 30 2000 - 17:44:22 EDT


> I assume that "the ISO standard" refers to ISO/IEC 8859-1 and possibly
> 8859-2 as well. Unicode is an ISO standard too (ISO/IEC 10646-1).

        So if my browser is set to ISO 8859-1 or ISO 8859-2, but a Central
Euopean or Western European site is only in Unicode, then all will show up

> > Then there was the problem with browsers. I can't remember if it was
> > netscape or explorer, but the font True Type was automatically chosen
> > if Unicode was chosen. Chinese hyroglyphs show poorly in TrueType.
> > They have their own fonts.
> First, TrueType is not a single font. The term refers to a font
> mechanism or "technology," or to a class of fonts. That said, TrueType
> fonts can certainly support Unicode. I have several that do.
> The browser you are thinking of is Netscape Navigator (pre-4.7).
> Support for Unicode in all browsers is improving steadily, and as it
> does, your 'adamant' programmers will end up using Unicode-encoded
> sites without even realizing it.

    When? 5 years from now? As for using Unicode without realizing it, what
do you mean? If a Russian's browser is set to CP1251, what happens if the site
is in Unicode? At present he gets garbage. I've tried the setting that
automatically changes to the character set of the page. Doesn't work very
well. I think the character set indication gets left out in many sites.

> > Unicode seems useful only for those working with ancient or non-major
> > languages or for those working with multiple languages in the same
> > spreadsheet/document.
> The general form of this is "Technology X is not widely implemented yet
> among those with relatively common needs, therefore it is not useful at
> all to them, only to those with unusual needs." Seen in this light,
> the conclusion seems presumptuous and premature in this world of
> rapidly advancing technology. Unicode will one day be the dominant
> standard for all the applications mentioned, even if it is not today.

    I don't disagree with this. It's just at present moment, Netscape
and Explorer don't seem ready. What would really be needed is the
browser automatically detects the site as being in Unicode, and switches to that
character set. Then sites could switch over without worry. That is not the
case at the moment. So the user has to change the character set himself.

       I would love to do our sites in Unicode, as handling multiple character
sets is not fun.


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