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Old 03-25-2009, 01:02 PM
"Kevin O'Gorman"
 
Default Browsers not seeing symbol font

I have discovered that the symbol font does not render reliably in
browsers. Only one of my audience (of about a dozen people) could see
the font properly, in a variety of browsers. The one who could is
using Firefox, and I have not been able to determine what makes this
one special -- I do not have access to that machine to check out
configurations.

I have a very simple HTML example at
http://www.kosmanor.com/~kevin/symbol.html. By rights it should show
"The quick brown fox" transliterated into greek letters. On most
browsers set up for English, it seems to come out in latin letters,
but there are no latin letter in that font, although these same
browsers honor requests for a variety of other fonts. This is true
even on some machines that definitely have the symbol font, and it's
usable in word processing documents.

Of course, that sample page is ancient HTML, but the problem first
surfaced in HTML email being received on a much more sophisticated
page by Yahoo Mail.

There's a lot I don't know about character encodings, i18n and the
rest, but this still seems discrimination against the symbol font.
Any clues out there?

--
Kevin O'Gorman, PhD
 
Old 03-25-2009, 01:15 PM
Albert Hopkins
 
Default Browsers not seeing symbol font

... not sure what this really has to do with Gentoo specifically, but...

Anyway I don't have a font called "Symbol" or any font alias called
"Symbol". I do, however, have a font called "Wingdings", for example.
 
Old 03-25-2009, 01:50 PM
Paul Hartman
 
Default Browsers not seeing symbol font

On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 9:02 AM, Kevin O'Gorman <kogorman@gmail.com> wrote:
> I have discovered that the symbol font does not render reliably in
> browsers. Only one of my audience (of about a dozen people) could see
> the font properly, in a variety of browsers. The one who could is
> using Firefox, and I have not been able to determine what makes this
> one special -- I do not have access to that machine to check out
> configurations.
>
> I have a very simple HTML example at
> http://www.kosmanor.com/~kevin/symbol.html. By rights it should show
> "The quick brown fox" transliterated into greek letters. On most
> browsers set up for English, it seems to come out in latin letters,
> but there are no latin letter in that font, although these same
> browsers honor requests for a variety of other fonts. This is true
> even on some machines that definitely have the symbol font, and it's
> usable in word processing documents.
>
> Of course, that sample page is ancient HTML, but the problem first
> surfaced in HTML email being received on a much more sophisticated
> page by Yahoo Mail.
>
> There's a lot I don't know about character encodings, i18n and the
> rest, but this still seems discrimination against the symbol font.
> Any clues out there?

1. "Symbol" is not a defined CSS font family. Your choices are: serif,
sans-serif, cursive, fantasy, monospace.

2. Character encodings are easy: use Unicode.
http://www.unicode.org/charts/symbols.html

3. Because neither your HTML nor your HTTP headers declare which
character encoding the page uses, it is left up to the browser to make
that decision (which obviously causes unpredictable results). You
should really define this.

4. Similarly, check the character encoding setting on the browser to
make sure it's not forcing it to be wrong. Firefox also has options to
allow or disallow the page from using its own fonts, etc.

5. Make sure the requisite fonts exist on the viewer's computer and is
properly installed.
 
Old 03-25-2009, 03:33 PM
"Kevin O'Gorman"
 
Default Browsers not seeing symbol font

On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 7:15 AM, Albert Hopkins <marduk@letterboxes.org> wrote:
> ... not sure what this really has to do with Gentoo specifically, but...
>
> Anyway I don't have a font called "Symbol" or any font alias called
> "Symbol". *I do, however, have a font called "Wingdings", for example.

The situation is the same on systems that DO have a Symbol font,
including my Windows Vista. I changed the page to use font-family and
included my Gentoo box's OpenSymbol. No joy.


--
Kevin O'Gorman, PhD
 
Old 03-25-2009, 03:38 PM
"Kevin O'Gorman"
 
Default Browsers not seeing symbol font

On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 7:50 AM, Paul Hartman
<paul.hartman+gentoo@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 9:02 AM, Kevin O'Gorman <kogorman@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I have discovered that the symbol font does not render reliably in
>> browsers. *Only one of my audience (of about a dozen people) could see
>> the font properly, in a variety of browsers. *The one who could is
>> using Firefox, and I have not been able to determine what makes this
>> one special -- I do not have access to that machine to check out
>> configurations.
>>
>> I have a very simple HTML example at
>> http://www.kosmanor.com/~kevin/symbol.html. *By rights it should show
>> "The quick brown fox" transliterated into greek letters. *On most
>> browsers set up for English, it seems to come out in latin letters,
>> but there are no latin letter in that font, although these same
>> browsers honor requests for a variety of other fonts. *This is true
>> even on some machines that definitely have the symbol font, and it's
>> usable in word processing documents.
>>
>> Of course, that sample page is ancient HTML, but the problem first
>> surfaced in HTML email being received on a much more sophisticated
>> page by Yahoo Mail.
>>
>> There's a lot I don't know about character encodings, i18n and the
>> rest, but this still seems discrimination against the symbol font.
>> Any clues out there?
>
> 1. "Symbol" is not a defined CSS font family. Your choices are: serif,
> sans-serif, cursive, fantasy, monospace.

I've changed the CSS to use the font-family property which accepts
actual fonts in addition to the generics you mention. No joy.

> 2. Character encodings are easy: use Unicode.
> http://www.unicode.org/charts/symbols.html

Yes they're easy. My question is about whether they have any effect
on use of Symbol So far I see no evidence of it.

> 3. Because neither your HTML nor your HTTP headers declare which
> character encoding the page uses, it is left up to the browser to make
> that decision (which obviously causes unpredictable results). You
> should really define this.

My browser default is Latin-1. The original YahooMail page specified
us-ascii. No difference.

> 4. Similarly, check the character encoding setting on the browser to
> make sure it's not forcing it to be wrong. Firefox also has options to
> allow or disallow the page from using its own fonts, etc.

My browser is set to allow this. No joy.

> 5. Make sure the requisite fonts exist on the viewer's computer and is
> properly installed.

It works in MS Works, Dreamweaver and on Gentoo, in OpenOffice.
>



--
Kevin O'Gorman, PhD
 
Old 03-25-2009, 05:33 PM
Paul Hartman
 
Default Browsers not seeing symbol font

On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 11:38 AM, Kevin O'Gorman <kogorman@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 7:50 AM, Paul Hartman
>> 1. "Symbol" is not a defined CSS font family. Your choices are: serif,
>> sans-serif, cursive, fantasy, monospace.
>
> I've changed the CSS to use the font-family property which accepts
> actual fonts in addition to the generics you mention. No joy.

You're right.

>> 2. Character encodings are easy: use Unicode.
>> http://www.unicode.org/charts/symbols.html
>
> Yes they're easy. My question is about whether they have any effect
> on use of Symbol So far I see no evidence of it.

Okay, now I realize "Symbol" is the name of a specific font. I hadn't
really picked up on that before

After a bit of Googling, it seems the accepted solution is to use HTML
entities for those symbols and not try to use the raw characters as
you are attempting to do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_XML_and_HTML_character_entity_references

Does that contain all of the symbols you need? If there are any
others, you should be able to use the unicode versions.
 
Old 03-25-2009, 05:41 PM
Mike Kazantsev
 
Default Browsers not seeing symbol font

On Wed, 25 Mar 2009 09:38:31 -0700
"Kevin O'Gorman" <kogorman@gmail.com> wrote:

>> 2. Character encodings are easy: use Unicode.
>> http://www.unicode.org/charts/symbols.html
>
> Yes they're easy. My question is about whether they have any effect
> on use of Symbol So far I see no evidence of it.

They shouldn't, since such fonts' glyphs aren't aligned with any
encoding afaik - it'd be rubbish, at best.


> It works in MS Works, Dreamweaver and on Gentoo, in OpenOffice.

Well, it also works for me, if I change 'Symbol' to 'Luxi Mono', for
example, which is a valid font name on my system.

Since handling of such stuff as font-family is defined by browser, it's
at best unwise to rely on 'Symbol' font definition, and, while IE6 is
still around, even more so.

You can use any decent font-rendering library to make
browser-independent representation of such stuff, which is probably the
only solution if you care whether end-user can see it or not.

--
Mike Kazantsev // fraggod.net
 

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