Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Browser of the month: Firefox

My post yesterday Quick test for Ancient Egyptian in web browsers (September 2010) actually exposed three bugs.

None of which involved Firefox. In fact Firefox 3.6 and later correctly display transliterations and hieroglyphs on a Windows system with a suitable Unicode 5.2 font containing hieroglyphs and the other characters.

The bugs are:
1. Latest releases of Chrome, Internet explorer (8 and 9 Beta) and Safari do not pick up that there is a local font with hieroglyphs. Basically a bug with Unicode 5.2 support I think. Attn: Apple, Google, Microsoft.
2. The same three browsers incorrectly process characters in the SMP given as character references e.g. �� Firefox is correct in displaying this pair as two bad characters per HTML specifications. This UTF-16 type of surrogate representation is not valid HTML: in my example the correct character reference is 𓄿 Attn: Apple, Google, Microsoft.
3. The Blogspot post editing software gratuitiously changed my UTF-8 text into character references �� for no apparent reason. The editing software also is buggy when I try to re-edit the post. Attn: Google, Blogger

So a gold star to Mozilla/Firefox.

The wooden spoon ought to go to Google for hitting all three bugs but in mitigation I'll observe that hieroglyphs are now supported by Google search (unlike the situation with Microsoft Bing and Yahoo who haven't even caught up with Unicode 5.1 never mind 5.2. A tribute to corporate lethargy - wake up guys).

After discovering the Blogger bug, I've opened a secondary blog on WordPress - Journal of Total Obscurity 2. For the time being this remains my main blog but WordPress will be used for posts with hieroglyphs.

I've retained my original post here 'Quick test for Ancient Egyptian in web browsers (September 2010)' so bugs can be monitored but I've uploaded the correct version at Test page for Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs in Unicode (September 2010) on WordPress.

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