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From "Randy Terbush" <>
Subject FW: Special character recognition problem
Date Sun, 29 Aug 1999 20:29:53 GMT
Can someone help this guy?

-----Original Message-----
From: David M. Surpless []
Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 1999 8:45 PM
Subject: Re: Special character recognition problem


I just found your email address via a search with
"Excite".  I'd like to share a problem that I, as
a website owner and designer, have been having ever
since our server installed Apache software as their
local web-server.

The problem is very basic: Our server, Caribenet in
Puerto Rico, claims that there is no possible solution
to the problem wherein special characters are not
recognized for what they are.  Please note that I
AM NOT SAYING that Apache software is not capable of
such recognition... just that our server makes such
claims through their technical representatives, thus,
giving us incomplete URLs when our site visitors
request filenames which contains the letter "ñ".

If this is the case, and special characters have not
been provided for in your server, it would appear to
me that this is a backward step, since it assumes that
all site designers only design in english, and will
only use english characters for all file names.  If
this is the case, I will not hesitate to say that it
is a mistaken code design by Apache designers.

Until our server switched to Apache in the last
several months, this was never a problem.  Now that
this problem has arisen, and I have brought it to
their attention, the best answer I get is that "I
should change my filenames to exclude the "ñ".  My
reply has been that "that would be akin to fixing
a car's front-end alignment problems by putting on
new tires instead of correcting the alignment!

I should state that we have our major website at
Valueweb, in Florida, and they DO NOT have this
problem.  It's only with our local internet access
server where this occurs, and this is so due to
the fact that I've placed on my "homepage" space
all our music/midi files which are accessed from
the major site.  It is interesting that if you
access these particular files "straight in" from
the web, the file is served up properly.  Yet, if
a web visitor is served up the index page where
those files are placed, the Apache server then
serves the web visitor with an incorrect filename
due to the fact that it does not recognize (at
least on our server) these characters.  The
following is a "living example" and proof of what
I'm complaining about.

Please enterño.html .
The song page came up ok and the midi played, right?

Now, please enter and then
select from that index page -served up by Apache- the
file "un_niño.html".  If before clicking on the file
you observe the status window, you'll see the problem.
The special character "ñ" is rendered "ÿ".

Now, as a final proof test, please access .
This is our major website.  Please note the status
window rendering of each file, which is intentionally
composed of many special characters.  Clicking on
either file will correctly bring up the file. The
web-server at Valueweb is properly set up, in my

Please repeat the process, this time at .
Please observe the status window rendering of the
file names.  Therein lies the difference, and
the problem. Clicking on these files brings up
a bad URL message.  Of course! There is no such
filename as "...%ff.." The web-server at Caribenet,
which is Apache, is not set up correctly, or
cannot be set up correctly.  Which is it?

I'll conclude by thanking you in advance for
looking in to this.  If Apache is truly short-
sighted in this particular coding area, would
it be possible for this to be fixed?  If this
situation is already provided for, would you
kindly let me know, as well as contacting the
servers that currently use your Apache software
in order to advise them of what they apparently
are not presently aware.  It will be greatly
appreciated by those of us who intend to continue
designing our sites with the language of the
people whom we are targetting.

Thank you very much.

Cordially yours,

David M. Surpless
Webmaster, Director
Publicaciones Voz de Gracia
Puerto Rico

"Porque por gracia habéis sido salvados
por medio de la fe; y esto no proviene
de vosotros, pues es don de Dios; no a
base de obras para que nadie se gloríe."
                          Efesios 2:8,9

"For it is by grace you have been saved,
through faith--and this not from your-
selves, it is the gift of God-- not by
works so that no one can boast." Eph.2:8,9



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