Re: French accented characters - observations of problems

From: Mark E. Shoulson (
Date: Wed Mar 16 2005 - 09:45:06 CST

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

    Peter Kirk wrote:

    > On 16/03/2005 01:28, Donald Z. Osborn wrote:
    >> ...
    >> 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.
    > I have recently noted problems even with Thunderbird in that it does
    > not always properly indicate the encoding of e-mails sent with it. I
    > have received e-mails containing Hebrew from Thunderbird users whose
    > systems are set up with the Hebrew code page, and the e-mails have
    > been sent out with Hebrew code page (Windows-1255 or similar) encoded
    > characters but no character set specified. And so my Windows-1252
    > system displays accented Latin characters instead of Hebrew. Now I
    > might expect this behaviour (although formally incorrect) from an old
    > pre-Unicode system, but not from the newly released Thunderbird -
    > which I would expect to always indicate a character set, at least if
    > there is anything outside the ASCII range. So, yes, we have a long way
    > to go!

    Huh? If there is no character set specified by the email, how is
    Thunderbird supposed to know that the characters are supposed to be
    Hebrew and not accented Latin? You can quibble with what it uses for a
    default, and probably change it, but you can't fault it for making a
    mistake with nothing to go on. I've had several messages on some mailing
    lists that need a a little gentle application of View->Character
    Encoding, presumably because the mailing-list software didn't put on an
    encoding or put on the wrong one (yes, they do that. They'll accept a
    message from someone clearly labelled UTF-8 and send it out unmodified
    but labelled ISO-8859-1).

    It sounds to me like the problems described stem from
    browsers/mailreaders that get the wrong encoding, and it probably isn't
    their fault most of the time, but the sender's (or relayer's).


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