accented vowels and other punctuations online

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tarzan
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accented vowels and other punctuations online

Post by tarzan »

Hi, everybody.

I have a question having to do with internet html syntax of written languages, which I'm not sure if any of you has the answer to, because it's more technical than linguistic, but I'll throw it out there...

Often when I'm surfing sites that have, for example, Spanish song lyrics, I'll see that what's supposed to be simply an "a" with an accent on it, showing up on the page as "ÃÂ" so I see the word "táctica" and have to do some guesswork to figure out that it's supposed to be "táctica." "energía" is "energía", and so on.

Here's a link to it if you want to see what I'm talking about:
http://www.metrolyrics.com/virtual-diva ... -omar.html

Does anyone know, what causes those particular punctuations to look like that online? Are the people who post them making a mistake with their syntax or something? I know that, for example, if I want an "a" with an accent, all I have to do is press and hold "alt" and type "160" at the same time. á -There, I did it.
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ANTHOS
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Re: accented vowels and other punctuations online

Post by ANTHOS »

Well from my own (not huge) experience as a website developer, it's because the people who created the pages were not rigorous enough.

There are ways of ensuring that the end-user will see the characters as you intended them to be seen, e.g. by using the appropriate code set, using HTML entities rather than hoping that what you see on your screen is what will appear on the end-user's screen etc. But it has to be said that it's a lot easier when you have the right tools.

If you think Spanish is bad, you should try deciphering Greek gobbledygook! ;)
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Sisyphe
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Re: accented vowels and other punctuations online

Post by Sisyphe »

As a frenchy guy (my pityful english does prove it...), quite linguisticaly nationalistic ;) and using a lot of uncommon alphabets and diacritics (IPA, polytonic greek, etc.), I would say that computers and softwares had been made by english-speaking peoples. Therefore, displaying of diacritics is a long-time problem, for software designer did not pay any attention to.

Remember that files names could not get any accent before Windows 95 (and that it can be still difficult), that, at DOS-times, the theorical french-ASCII-encoding scheme created so many mistakes on screen that everyone let the american display be used ; that foreign alphabets are still non in use by URL-names, that diacrited-letters coding is complex and not yet completely standarded (DOS ? ISO ? Utf 8 ?). When you give your e-mail address (your name and surname, oftenly) to someone who is not very fond of computering in France, you must tell him "without the accent !", so stupid it could be sometimes (an acquintance of mine is called "Leçon" (sounds like "lesson"), without the 'cédille', it sounds like "le con" =asshole, sucker, etc. - website of the city of Besançon makes everyone laugh :roll: ). French computer keyboards are based on typewriter keyboards, which lacked of keys to display all the accented letters of french. There is more keys on computer, and the AltGr modifier moreover, but "they" never thought to display the missing letters on it, unaware of complaints of secretaries and typesetters ; you can write a 'µ', in 'µm' shortening of "micrometer" (1/1000000 of meter), or even an ÿ (used in four or five placenames in South of France), very usefull ! But not a Ç or an É.

So, what says Anthos is right : websites with that kind of problems are often poor-made, by worst-than-me (is it possible ?) developers, who do not even know the concept of "encoding scheme". But the original sin has been commited by the english-speaking adams-and-eves of computering. :) Steve job for the apple, of course, and Bill Gates as the snake ?
La plupart des occasions des troubles du monde sont grammairiennes (Montaigne, II.12)
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ANTHOS
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Re: accented vowels and other punctuations online

Post by ANTHOS »

i agree that that probably has a lot to do with it
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solbjerg
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Re: accented vowels and other punctuations online

Post by solbjerg »

Hi Sisyphe
If you use the French keyboard and save it and send it in unicode - doesn't it then work??
Every country made their own keyboard - and as I understand it this gave a lot of difficulties until they started to use unicode. Perhaps the unicode version needs to be updated by now?
Cheers
solbjerg
p.s. for the time being we must roll the stone up the mountain incessantly :-)
Sisyphe wrote:As a frenchy guy (my pityful english does prove it...), quite linguisticaly nationalistic ;) and using a lot of uncommon alphabets and diacritics (IPA, polytonic greek, etc.), I would say that computers and softwares had been made by english-speaking peoples. Therefore, displaying of diacritics is a long-time problem, for software designer did not pay any attention to.

Remember that files names could not get any accent before Windows 95 (and that it can be still difficult), that, at DOS-times, the theorical french-ASCII-encoding scheme created so many mistakes on screen that everyone let the american display be used ; that foreign alphabets are still non in use by URL-names, that diacrited-letters coding is complex and not yet completely standarded (DOS ? ISO ? Utf 8 ?). When you give your e-mail address (your name and surname, oftenly) to someone who is not very fond of computering in France, you must tell him "without the accent !", so stupid it could be sometimes (an acquintance of mine is called "Leçon" (sounds like "lesson"), without the 'cédille', it sounds like "le con" =asshole, sucker, etc. - website of the city of Besançon makes everyone laugh :roll: ). French computer keyboards are based on typewriter keyboards, which lacked of keys to display all the accented letters of french. There is more keys on computer, and the AltGr modifier moreover, but "they" never thought to display the missing letters on it, unaware of complaints of secretaries and typesetters ; you can write a 'µ', in 'µm' shortening of "micrometer" (1/1000000 of meter), or even an ÿ (used in four or five placenames in South of France), very usefull ! But not a Ç or an É.

So, what says Anthos is right : websites with that kind of problems are often poor-made, by worst-than-me (is it possible ?) developers, who do not even know the concept of "encoding scheme". But the original sin has been commited by the english-speaking adams-and-eves of computering. :) Steve job for the apple, of course, and Bill Gates as the snake ?