It’s just data

Consquences of Standards (and the lack thereof)

Jon Udell: This time, though, I heard something I hadn't the first time -- about standards. When the construction project drew in artisans from the 13th-century French countryside, the first order of business was to agree on standard weights and measures.

Since I write in XML, my input strategy was to use numeric references, which meant typing this string of characters: "résumés" -- and that's exactly what showed up on the InfoWorld home page when the item was excerpted there. Evidently the process that creates those excerpts is reading, but not parsing, RSS feeds.

Let's take a closer look into Jon's RSS feed:

<title>Active r&amp;#233;sum&amp;#233;s</title>

Arguably, the InfoWorld process did parse the RSS feed, once.

Copying an instance of 'résumé' into the search form works, as does the extra-geeky method of writing the URL-encoded version ('r%C3%A9sum%C3%A9s') directly into the URL.

I take it from Jon's use of the word the in the URL-encoded version, he doens't realize that in all these standards there still isn't consensus on how to encode an "é" into a URL?  Meanwhile, Google has standardized on utf-8.

But the resulting display was wrong, until I switched the browser's text encoding to UTF-8. I guess I should have my search server emit the appropriate UTF-8 header.

Given that you previously had successfully issued a query using the default (iso-8859-1), it is probably fair to presume that if you were to make this change, queries issued from this page which contain international characters will no longer work as they will now be utf-8 encoded.

It seems to me engineers who were brought up in the late 20th century could learn a lot from the 13th century artisans.


i18n again

Sam Ruby pinpoints the glitch: Let's take a closer look into Jon's RSS feed: ......

Excerpt from Jon's Radio at

Let me get this straight: one member of the RSS Advisory Board writes software that miswrites RSS, the second member of the Board writes software that misreads RSS, and the third member of the Board writes a column that misinterprets the situation?

Posted by Mark at

splintered rss

When people say more formats, or varying practices don’t cost, they are either naive or acting in their own interest, not ours.—Dave Personally, I don’t see RSS and Atom as the same formats. Sure, their uses may overlap. But,...

Excerpt from techno weenie at

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