Re: do all browsers support UTF-8 encoding???

From: Sandeep Krishna (
Date: Thu Oct 05 2000 - 00:23:42 EDT


well.. as per ur suggestion.. i shouldnt send in UTF-8 coded text...
and instead should send in text in local scripts (Big5, GB..., Shift-JIS
etc.. )

but doesnt that implicitly imply that i need to have a separate middle tier
support for each locale...
that is i dedicate separate Web Servers specfically meant for a particular
locale....(that is it only writes and reads to the DB server on a
particualar encoding ..say. Big5)

but my kindof set up doesnt permit me the liberty of separate Web Servers
for separate locales.....(Business Rules.)

so i dont think that solution hold valid for my case....
any elaborations/clarifications.....



----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: Unicode List <>
Cc: Unicode List <>
Sent: Wednesday, October 04, 2000 10:22 PM
Subject: Re: do all browsers support UTF-8 encoding???

Hi Sandeep,

Maybe this wasn't clear, but...

IE 2,3,4.x and Netscape 2, 3, and 4.x will not display Chinese characters
using the UTF-8 encoding as installed. They set the font for the UTF-8
encoding to "Times New Roman" and therefore display black squares (the
"empty glyph") for all Chinese characters.

A lot of us think that you should not send UTF-8 to the browser if you are
concerned about having large numbers of people with older browser versions
(and cannot ensure that they all set the font to something more
approprite, i.e. in a controlled environment such as an intranet). This
appears to be your case.

Short story:

Work in Unicode (your choice, UTF-8 or UTF-16) at the server.
Send UTF-8 to "modern" browsers (IE 5.x, NN 6.x).
Send legacy encodings (such as Big5) to older browsers.
Send UTF-8 to browsers serving languages that are compatible with UTF-8
(Latin script languages in Western and Central Europe mostly).



Addison P. Phillips Principal Consultant
Inter-Locale LLC
Los Gatos, CA, USA

+1 408.210.3569 (mobile) +1 408.904.4762 (fax)
Globalization Engineering & Consulting Services

On Wed, 4 Oct 2000, Sandeep Krishna wrote:

> hi guys!!
> can someone tell me whether all browsers (atleast IE 2,3.0 and
Netscape...) support encoding/deocding on UTF-8....
> and also, can there be an instance of browser (say a primitave version of
a Chinese Netscape) that supports Big 5 encoding but not UTF-8.
> THis info. is crucial as i expect all users (of the site) to be capable of
using only UTF-8 encoding.......
> so if there is a user whose browser doesnt support UTF-8 or it supports
Big 5 but not UTF-8 then this is trouble..........
> anyone with some idea on this issue.......
> regards,
> Sandeep
> Member Technical Staff (
> H.C.L. Technologies Limited
> A-1 C&D, Sector -16, NOIDA, UP, India.
> Ph: 91-11-91-4516321 (extn. 1062)
> Fax: 91-11-91-4510713, 4510226
> E-Mail :
> ~Don't frown, because you never know who's falling
in love with your smile!~

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