question mark symbol replacing some commas

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Clayne, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. Clayne macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    #1
    Check out this link, it's lyrics to a song.

    http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/3530822107858581707/

    Do ya'll see question mark symbols replacing some punctuation? This isn't consistent just sometimes. Is it a problem on my side of things, or is it the text? Is it something you fix or live with?

    Thanks,
    Clayne
     
  2. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Location:
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    #2
    I see question marks in both Safari and Firefox. It must be a funky font or something.
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    It's an encoding issue -- text on the internet can be provided in a number of different text sets, including Unicode (Unicode encompasses all languages and most symbols, so people should just use it and this should become a non-issue, but it hasn't worked out that way).

    The web page should announce what character encoding is being used and then stick with it. The problem arises when the page uses a non-standard encoding or doesn't announce its encoding or switches encodings for different segments without telling the browser.

    The problem you're seeing is that the main lyric text is in an unusual encoding -- if I switch manually in Firefox to Western (Windows-1252) it displays correctly.

    Here it is in Unicode:
    [​IMG]

    And now in Western-1252:
    [​IMG]

    Most likely the text of the lyrics was typed up in Microsoft Word and the "smartquotes" (single and double quotes / apostrophes that have a direction instead of being straight up and down like the ones one usually gets on the web) were translated in this way....
     
  4. Clayne thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    #4
    mkrishnan,

    I see... In 'default' encoding in Safari, it shows the question marks, and in Western ISO (Latin 1) it displays correctly. That makes sense.

    Is there any way to fix this without having to manually change the encoding each time?

    Should I contact the website about this problem? If so, how should I articulate it?

    Also, this is a lyric site where the members input the lyrics themselves. Could that have anything to do with it? It isn't consistent throughout the website, just a portion of the lyrics themselves.

    Thanks.
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    Right -- as I said above, it probably happened as a result of the way the lyrics were pasted into the submission form for the website by users.

    If the website wanted to properly fix it, the best solution is probably for them to implement a filter that strips these characters from the submissions and replaces them with "dumb" quotes...

    I would personally just live with it... I doubt that website really has the resources or interest to deal with it....
     

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