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From André Warnier ...@ice-sa.com>
Subject Re: Migrating to tomcat 6 gives formatted currency amounts problem
Date Fri, 12 Sep 2008 08:08:48 GMT
Caldarale, Charles R wrote:
> 
> I'm not sure these days what the "normal web character set" really is.  If you're referring
to ASCII (aka Basic Latin), then no, the Pound Sterling symbol is not present.  However, for
any of the ISO-8859-x variants, it is present, using the 163 (0xA3) value you noted (same
as the Unicode code point).  It's also in UTF-8 of course, but requires two bytes (0xC2 0xA3)
to represent the code point.
> 
I love these discussions about character sets. They seem to confuse so 
many people; even I, who have been involved in them for 30 years...

Anyway, I have a related question, which I don't think constitutes a 
hijack of this thread, because the underlying cause is probably similar.
Here it goes :

Tomcat (v 4.1, v 5.0, v5.5, have not tried yet in 6.x)
The above Tomcat's running under the same Linux or Solaris, essentially 
set up the same way. The JVM may vary, but I don't think that is the 
problem, because of the consistency of the problem as explained below.
I am running a webapp from an external supplier, always the same binary 
version.  I don't have the code, can't see what's in it.
The pages served by that webapp are the same html pages, all of them 
having a declaration <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; 
charset=iso-8859-1">.
The pages also *are* properly encoded as iso-8859-1 (100% positive, I 
know the difference).
The browser receiving the pages is always the same one, same settings.

Now,

case a)
in the Tomcat startup files, I do nothing, meaning I just take Tomcat 
out-of-the-box and run the webapp.
Result : in any such html page that contains characters with an ISO-8859 
codepoint above \xA0 (meaning the displayable characters of the "high" 
part of the table, where one finds things like "uppercase A with 
umlaut"), these characters
   - appear in the browser display as "?" (minus the quotes)
   - also if I save the page from the browser to disk, and look at them 
with an iso-8859-1 capable editor, they are effectively "?".
(So it's not the browser misunderstanding them, it is Tomcat sending 
them that way).

case b)
In one of the Tomcat startup files (e.g. tomcat_dir/bin/startup.sh or 
even in /etc/init.d/tomcat5.5), I add the following line
LC_CTYPE="en_us.iso88591"
(or whatever is valid on that host to specify an iso-8859-1 LC_CTYPE)
(before the actual start of Tomcat)
and restart Tomcat
then the same page displays properly in the browser, and also is correct 
iso-8859-1 when saved to disk and examined with the editor.
(In other words, what previously were "?" characters, are now the 
correct iso-8859-1 character bytes).

Now my question is :
How can it matter which LC_CTYPE Tomcat is started under, that would 
have the result above ?
The behaviour above is consistent across different hosts, across the 
same or different Tomcat versions, it is always the same webapp, always 
the same html pages, always the same browser, etc.  Only that LC_CTYPE 
line changes the behaviour.
On the face of it, the only thing I can think of that would explain 
this, is that the webapp in question does something wrong, but what 
exactly could it be doing ?
Any ideas ?

Thanks in advance,
André


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