Special letters in HTM-Links

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It happens, when I open a HTML-Link to a German site with text with
special letters as e.g. , , , that I can not see the correct letters.
In Firefox the default letterset is Western (ISo-8859-1)
Then I have to change to another letterset, sometimes I have to change
to Unicode (UTF8) or to Central-European (Windows-1250) and then I can
see and read the text correctly.
Now my HTML-Link in my Homepage looks like

<A HREF="http://www.wein-plus.de/wdb/index.php3 " target="_blank">Here
you can see the WineDataBase</A>

Now please my question:
Is in HTLM an option that I can ad to the Link description so I can
change automatically, in this case, to the Central-European
(Windows-1250) letterset?
I hope my question is clear to understand.
Many thanks in advance for helping,
Gaston Verhulst.

Re: Special letters in HTM-Links

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So it is using the wrong character encoding.

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No, the responsibility for specifying the encoding of a document lies
with the provider of the document, not with people who link to it.


David Dorward
http://dorward.me.uk /
http://blog.dorward.me.uk /

Re: Special letters in HTM-Links

Gaston Verhulst wrote:
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There ain't any way to to tell the browser to change charset in a link,
this is done with a meta tag on the page which is loaded

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">

This is from the page you had problems with, there is built in smartness
in todays browsers, which looks for UTF-8 characters, if a such is
found, the meta tag is ignored. The pages in question has some UTF-8
characters mixed with the iso-8859-1, which makes the browser to display
it as UTF-8, the best thing you can do, is to contact the webmaster or
the author of the page, to fix the page.



Re: Special letters in HTM-Links

Scripsit J.O. Aho:

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At this point, I'd like to remark that the question has nothing to do with
special letters in links (contrary to what the Subject line says) but deals
with non-ASCII letters in page _content_.

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By the specifications, there are two ways to specify the encoding of a
linked resource, namely the charset="..." attribute and the type="..."
attribute (which may contain a charset attribute). Neither of them has any
support in browsers, though, and neither of them is supposed to override the
encoding specified in an HTTP header or in a meta tag.

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No, that meta tag has no effect here. It's the Content-Type header that
matters, when it contains the charset parameter. (It happens to coincide
with the information in the meta tag.)

However, iso-8859-1 is the encoding specified for the frameset page. The
page http://www.wein-plus.de/wdb/index.php3 is just a deceptive frameset
document that "loads" two documents from another domain into frames, and
these documents in turn have been declared to use utf-8 encoding. That's
possible but a poor approach and may confuse poor browsers.

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I don't think that's what happens here. Browsers obey HTTP headers. However,
when they detect data errors, i.e. input data that does not constitute a
proper UTF-8 data stream, they may react in different ways. All bets are

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I didn't study the pages in detail but I noticed data that is apparently
meant to be iso-8859-1 encoded. The problem is on the server side, and there
are various ways to fix it, by changing the data, or by changing the HTTP
headers. Unfortunately, many authors and server administrators don't
understand encoding issues, so don't expect too much.

Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")

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