> This is so backwards. If Bob can use .htaccess, he should of course
> use it to make the server send the character encoding he prefers,
> which may very well be UTF-8 for all we know.
We do know, Bob told us. He uses NoteTab and writes in his native
Apart from that you're right of course, and I already said so.
If Bob can make the server send the correct HTTP headers, that's best.
Only his provider can tell him that. The two providers I'm using (one is
my own choice and with the other I'm webmaster for someone else) don't,
but at least allow me to stop them sending the wrong ones.
> Bob, just use the entities (¹ and ²) for now and be done
> with it.
That is a possibility. It is the one I use on my own site for maximum
backwards compatibility and there I declare US-ASCII in step with what
I'm actually doing.
For the other site I made easy maintainabilty by others the priority and
declare cp-1252, meaning that they can just type whatever their Windows
computer allows them and need not bother about encoding.
Unless you want to restrict yourself to the lowest common denominator on
ideological grounds, like I do, that's the best choice. It means in
essence "whatever you can type and display correctly in NoteTab, the
server and browser will accept and display correctly too."
> You can read up about character encoding when you feel up to it.
Bob, there really is not much to it. Most computers use a 255 character
alphabet - I'm ignoring extensions like UTF for the moment. In all these
the first 127 characters are identical and standardized by ASCII. The
top 128 ones, your ä ö ü é ê µ and so on, can be all over the place.
This used to be more of a problem when the Macs, Ataris, Amigas DOS with
cp-437, DOS with cp-850 and so on all had sizeable market shares. As
long as you are using Windows and don't switch to cyrillic, greek,
hebrew or something like that, everything you type and display will be
encoded as cp-1252 (of which terms like AnsiNew and others are synonyms,
but not ANSI, Latin-1 or ISO 8859-1). So if you go and tell that to the
browsers rendering your pages, you'll be fine. If you don't, they or the
server have to guess and may guess wrong. That's all there is to it.