Re: Proposed HTML 2.0 Entities - Rendering Errors

Murray Altheim (
Tue, 27 Jun 1995 17:05:12 -0400

>Walter Ian Kaye <> wrote:
>>At 01:56p 06/27/95, Murray Altheim wrote:
>>I took the character entity list from the Connolly/Berners-Lee June 16th
>>2.0 DTD and tested the entity list in Netscape and Mosaic on the Macintosh=
>>I'm interested in a dialog on solutions to rendering these characters
>>correctly on platforms that do not have the correct mappings, either due t=
>>OS, font, or browser problems. Few people in the US need to use the
>>Icelandic "Eth", but quite a few of these entities would be very valuable
>>additions to our global repertoire if we could find a way to display them.
>You might want to check my character set page. I still have to change its
>title from iso-8859-1 since it's not precisely that, but it's got footnotes
>as to which of the ISO characters are not in the Macintosh (standard)
>character set.
>Are there any Adobe font engineers on this list? I'm thinking something
>similar to SuperATM could be called upon to generate certain "extra"
>glyphs, or maybe it would require QuickDraw GX, or maybe Copland (with its
>Unicode support, but that's still a ways off...). Are you looking for a
>Mac-specific solution, or a cross-platform one?


I'm not looking for a Mac-specific solution, although I would certainly
point folks to your page as being a better example than mine of those
characters not in the Macintosh character set. I would be interested in
seeing which are not in the PC charset, as well as feedback from some UNIX

But the real point I was trying to make was how to address this issue more
globally. Solving it on the Macintosh would be a step pointing the way for
others, and maybe this _is_ entirely a browser issue, and beyond the scope
of HTML. But most of our workstations (PC, Mac, UNIX, or others) do have
limitations in their character sets.

As we look at extending the allowable character entities of HTML, a more
immediate display solution may be needed, hence my original message and
your suggestion. I believe some of the SGML hounds could possibly enlighten
us further on a better approach. I certainly didn't grasp all the
subtleties of the DTD's character set discussion, nor understand in reading
over the 3.0 DTD how HTML will handle this problem in the future.

The DTD defines every SGML document as having one "document character set".
To be a conforming document, all characters must be within the specified
charset. But from a browser standpoint, this statement is rendered somewhat
useless in light of each platform's limitations. If none of the current
platforms can completely render the entire character set, is there
something that can be done within SGML/HTML that could point the way for a
less-proprietary solution than would be found by all the various browser
vendors? I'd rather avoid having Adobe or Microsoft or Apple "solve" this
for us, and have it handled within SGML/HTML.

Sorry to have reopened the can of w=FCrms,


Murray M. Altheim, Information Systems Analyst
National Technology Transfer Center, Wheeling, West Virginia