[b-hebrew] Hebrew in messages
peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Jul 11 07:17:18 EDT 2005
On 10/07/2005 04:51, Karl Randolph wrote:
>Only once have I sent you Hebrew encoded as character entities. All the other times, I wrote Hebrew, at least once specifically encoded as UTF-8, and somewhere between my screen and yours it was translated to character entities. Yet when you replied, quoting my Hebrew which was changed to character entities, my browser rendered it as Hebrew. Even the time I specifically wrote out the character entities, your quote of it was rendered as Hebrew when I looked at your reply.
The problem is somewhere between your screen and the cable out of the
back of your computer - or more precisely the cable out of the back of
your remote mail client's system, since you are using webmail. Your
webmail system sends invalide Hebrew codes, and when it receives those
same invalid codes it treats them as valid. That simple interpretation
explains all the observed facts.
>When I looked at http://kodesh.snunit.k12.il/i/t/t0101.htm both Camino and Safari read the third line down in the html to find <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1255"> and automatically read the rest of the page as Windows Hebrew. Hence it read the page as a Windows document, not unicode. When I tried to read it as unicode, all the Hebrew was rendered as question marks.
This Hebrew web page is correctly (as far as I know) encoded in
Windows-1255. Of course you will get bad results if you force your
browser to override its indicated encoding and interpret it as UTF-8
>As for the B-Hebrew archive software, it changed the Windows-1255 encoding to character entities. No problem there, as all browsers should be able to render that correctly. However, it changed character entities to html text strings which no browser can render as Hebrew. That is definitely a bug in the program. The program should read character entities without changing them to html character strings. ...
No, it should not. The software should, and does, convert correctly
between different encodings, and as the archives are in HTML it is
correct for it to translate certain characters to HTML character
entities. But, as is standard practice when reading plain text into
HTML, characters like "&" are "escaped" e.g. replaced by "<amp>", to
ensure that they are interpreted as plain text rather than as part of an
HTML code. For in plain text a string of characters starting with "&"
and ending with ";" is not a character entity (which is an HTML concept)
but simply a string of characters. After all, someone may really want to
display such a string of characters rather than insert a Hebrew or other
character. Indeed I just wanted to do just that, but I realised that I
couldn't because your mail software would probably incorrectly render
the string "א" (I typed ampersand, hash, "1488", semicolon) as a
>... Secondly it should read UTF-8 coding correctly.
I have seen no evidence that it does not, and Kirk has also confirmed
that it handles UTF-8 correctly.
>A non-standard encoding scheme like Windows-1255 requires a Windows aware browser in order to render it correctly. Secondly, the browser needs to be set to Windows Hebrew.
Introducing "Windows" here is a bit confusing, and perhaps a red rag to
some. But this Windows encoding is a properly defined code page which is
properly supported by many mail programs and browsers (certainly by
Mozilla, Thunderbird, Firefox and Camino) on many operating systems. I
could have referred instead to the ISO equivalent, but unfortunately
there is some confusion about different variants for Hebrew. A good
browser or mail program will automatically set its encoding to what is
indicated in the web page or message; manual setting of encodings should
be necessary only when the page creator or sender has messed up.
>Not all mail programs can render character entities correctly.
In plain text e-mail, which means all postings on this list, character
entities should not be rendered except as strings starting with "&",
because there is no such thing as a character entity. The mail program,
yours, which renders them in any other way is the one which has a problem.
>There is a bug (or more) in the archive program that changes character entities to html text strings. I have no idea what it would do to UTF-8 encoding. But seeing as it changes Windows-1255 to character entities, I am not hopeful.
The archive program is working correctly. It changes strings in plain
text which, in an HTML context, might be misinterpreted as character
entities into strings which cannot be so misinterpreted. It correctly
replaces certain Windows-1255 and UTF-8 characters with character entities.
>... If we could show the Hebrew text in our email messages, that would be a big improvement. But apparently that day is not here yet.
Maybe not, but we would be a lot closer if list members and their
software conformed properly to the standards.
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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