French accented characters - observations of problems

From: Donald Z. Osborn (
Date: Tue Mar 15 2005 - 19:28:44 CST

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Re: French accented characters - observations of problems"

    During the recent governmental crisis in Togo that followed the sudden death of
    longtime Pres. Eyadema and the ongoing runup to an election, Kelly Morris has
    forwarded a lot of material in English and French to the Togo-L list. There
    have been complaints by some readers about problems in rendering of French
    accented characters in some of the items.

    During this period, Kelly has also been "moving" the list from to

    All of this provides an interesting set of examples and opportunities for
    observation of how various sites and servers handle non-ASCII characters - even
    some of the most commonly used (in ANSI / Latin-1 supplement). I forward
    Kelly's most recent message to Togo-L on this topic on the chance anyone would
    have any comments on his observations, or beyond that, on the evolution of
    webmasters' practice and e-mail communications to handle the range of Latin

    This experience seems to say that we're a long way from where we'd like to be
    (and where I thought we already were) with regard to weblication of and the
    ability to share text with the most common West European accented characters.

    Don Osborn

    ----- Forwarded message from "Kelly J. Morris" <> -----
        Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 17:42:38 -0500
        From: "Kelly J. Morris" <>
     Subject: [Togo-L] French characters - follow-up
          To: Togo-L <>

    I have been following up on the question of the readability of Togo-L messages
    in French.

    1. I have identified several online publications whose articles seem to be the
    ones that present the greatest number of problems. These include:,,, l'Humanite, RFI,
    and others. Copying-and-pasting articles from these sources to a text editor
    before copying-and-pasting them to my e-mail client for sending does not
    rectify the situation. I will attempt to obtain identical articles from
    different sources than the above sites.

    2. Several subscribers whose subscription has been moved from AOL to
    report that they have many fewer scrambled messages than on AOL. (The move to
    YahooGroups is about 2/3 complete).

    3. Changing the "Character Encoding" setting of the program with which you read
    your e-mail seems to help the situation considerably. Try changing the setting
    to the following to see which one helps the most:

    Western (ISO-8859-1)
    Western (ISO-8859-15)
    Unicode (UTF-7)
    Unicode (UTF-8)
    Unicode (UTF-16)

    4. I have found only one certain solution that renders English and French
    messages perfectly without error: use Google's new Gmail service for your
    e-mail. Gmail can be read at the Gmail website or you can read the messages
    with your e-mail client (such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Netscape,
    Mozilla, Mozilla Thunderbird, etc.). Since Gmail is still in "beta" release
    (i.e. a test, pre-release version), you need an invitation to sign-up and get a
    Gmail account. I have a few invitations left - contact me at the address below
    if you would like an invitation.


                                Kelly J. MORRIS
                               List Owner, Togo-L
    ----- End forwarded message -----

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