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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist Pixelateur's Avatar
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    Question Umlaute not showing in Firefox for PC

    Hello,

    my client just told me that umlaute aren't displayed correctly in his browser. He is using Firefox on a PC. Instead of umlaute he sees blanks.

    I haven't been able to reproduce this error on my Mac though.

    This is the website in question.

    Can this be related to the fact that I am using HTML5 in this project?

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
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    Just tested this in FF4 on Windows 7, and in FF3.6 on Windows 7 and Windows XP. In each case, the umlauts display perfectly.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict EarlyOut's Avatar
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    Just for good measure, I checked further - no problem in Chrome or IE6 through IE9, either. Umlauts always visible.

    The only thing I can think of that might produce that effect would be some sort of problem with the client's font files, but the site isn't calling on any unusual fonts, so that explanation seems unlikely.

  4. #4
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    I've had sites where chars beyond the us-ascii were boxes or ?s. In those cases, I was on Linux and so was the backender, yet I was the only one to not see the characters.

    In order to see them, I needed to tell my browser Western (Latin-1, 8859-1) instead of Auto-detect.

    But I see it as a bad sign that someone would have to change from Auto-detect.

    Your meta tag is UTF-8 and your server is sending out UTF-8... only thing left to check is, how is that HTML (or the text within it) being saved? If it's sent to you in some other charset and then you're stuffing it into the HTML and re-saving it as UTF-8, there *could* be issues.

    For now, though, have your client check his charsettings in his browser. Likely he can get the chars to render by changing something there, since everyone else is able to view it (me too).

    Can this be related to the fact that I am using HTML5 in this project?
    No.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict EarlyOut's Avatar
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    I was just poking around the options in Firefox, and I can see how you could perhaps produce this kind of problem, but you'd have to work at it. It's possible to tell the browser to use the fonts that you specify, regardless of what the page wants to use. If you choose a font that doesn't have characters with umlauts, there's no telling what you might see.

  6. #6
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    ^this is possible, but the default settings *should work*... in my case, they did not work because I wrote and saved all my HTML as UTF-8 while the backender insisted on setting the server up for Latin-1. The only beyond-us-ascii chars that still appeared were the ones I specifically hand-wrote using numerical character entities (and this is why I do this). But users could upload text and those were still ? ? ? for me.

    Backender never saw it because his copy of Chrome didn't default to UTF-8 or something.

  7. #7
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    Only question I can think of is "What OS?" as "PC" can be a bit vague...

    The HTML 5 itself would NOT be the cause of issues, but there are a LOT of accessibility shortcomings that could add up; undersized fixed metric fonts (px BAD!!!) -- but even so I can't find anything that would make the fonts not work -- unless it's somehow cascading down to the "default" family fonts on something like a Linux box where the default font doesn't support the UTF-8 character set. (which would be really odd)

    But the encoding on the document, http response header and document meta all match up as UTF-8... It has to be the fonts on that users machine.

  8. #8
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    It has to be the fonts on that users machine.
    This is the other possibility besides a browser charsetting... except I guess I'm assuming a German client would have a font supporting umlauts on his/her machine??

  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist Pixelateur's Avatar
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    Hey you guys,

    Thank you very much for your support.

    I haven't found a solution to this yet, but it seems the fonts on my client's machine are corrupted.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixelateur View Post
    Hey you guys,

    Thank you very much for your support.

    I haven't found a solution to this yet, but it seems the fonts on my client's machine are corrupted.
    I just experienced a similar issue where the dots were 5mm next to the letter. The reason was that the programmers did not use the correct unicode symbol. The used ¨+u instead of ü.

    Firefox Windows was the only browser that had this issue. Unfortunately this is one of the most common browsers.

    Regards
    Simon

  11. #11
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon
    The used ¨+u instead of ü.
    I thought either was okay. There is even a letter (the slavic lower-case j with the upside-down ^ over it?) which can only be represented this way (or was it the uppercase version of this letter?). It shouldn't be able to make problems in a browser but with Mozilla, who knows.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    I thought either was okay. There is even a letter (the slavic lower-case j with the upside-down ^ over it?) which can only be represented this way (or was it the uppercase version of this letter?). It shouldn't be able to make problems in a browser but with Mozilla, who knows.
    It turned out that the texts actually came from the client and our people just copy pasted it.
    So the issue might actually have been originated in Word or the likes.
    Anyway, the umlauts were two separate chars when I opened the html in a text editor. When I write a ¨+u here, it creates only one character.

    I dug out some of the bad code from git and paste it here. Although the Richtext editor might fix it.
    Code:
    Extra für dich
    When pasted to python there is a different Unicode symbol:
    bad: u'Extra fu\u0308r dich'
    good: u'Extra f\xfcr dich'

    Regards
    Simon

  13. #13
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon
    Anyway, the umlauts were two separate chars when I opened the html in a text editor. When I write a ¨+u here, it creates only one character.
    Ah, that might be from how they actually typed.

    My keyboard doesn't have it but all my family here have this thing on Windows where to type the keys they don't have (US keyboards are the norm here in Netherlands). For example, because some keys expect a modifier, if I want to type " characters on their computers, I have to type it twice. I think a + " could give me like an a with an accent or an umlaut or something. I forget; I use character entities.

    But it is also possible with unicode to have two bytes, one for the base letter and one for the decoration and they can be shown as a single character (I forget how, but this was all in Jeffrey Friedl's Regular Expressions book, which I think is where I read about the slavic j).


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