Another Readability Issue

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gregneg
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Another Readability Issue

Postby gregneg » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:59 pm

:rolleyes: I sent out an mass email using a dash in the text, "on-line". I have a recipient who replied showing me (and complaining about) what it looked like.

on–line :eek:

Any suggestions/cures for this?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:08 pm

elderj1 wrote::rolleyes: I sent out an mass email using a dash in the text, "on-line". I have a recipient who replied showing me (and complaining about) what it looked like.

on–line :eek:

Any suggestions/cures for this?


Did you compose the information in a word processor and then paste it into the e-mail message? That looks like the kind of thing that happens when a special hyphen character (not the simple ASCII hyphen) is used. Word processors often create such special characters automatically.

If you compose the text in the web page, I doubt that this will happen, but I'll do a test and report back later this evening.

gregneg
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Postby gregneg » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:22 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:Did you compose the information in a word processor and then paste it into the e-mail message? That looks like the kind of thing that happens when a special hyphen character (not the simple ASCII hyphen) is used. Word processors often create such special characters automatically.

If you compose the text in the web page, I doubt that this will happen, but I'll do a test and report back later this evening.


It was specifically composed on-line to try to insure that sorta stuff would not happen. I'm using a Mac. My browser default encoding is Western (ISO Latin 1)

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:31 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:If you compose the text in the web page, I doubt that this will happen, but I'll do a test and report back later this evening.


Well, I tested this, pasting text from Word as well as typing it directly, and my hyphens came through just fine. I don't know if your use of a Mac is a relevant factor. I was using a PC both to compose the message, and to read the message in both G-Mail and Outlook.

So since I can't duplicate the problem, I can't think of any suggestions for avoiding the problem. Sorry.

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Postby lajackson » Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:39 pm

elderj1 wrote::rolleyes: I sent out an mass email using a dash in the text, "on-line". I have a recipient who replied showing me (and complaining about) what it looked like.

on–line :eek:

Any suggestions/cures for this?


There are so many variables and "helpful" e-mail programs out there right now that I have lost control of this problem, which is that the hyphen went out as a special code. Alan has a reader that knows what to do, the member has a reader that does not, or is printing the character in a different type style.

With some browsers and e-mail readers, I have not been able to avoid this problem because there is no way to absolutely insist that the individual letters are to be delivered in ASCII text and not messed with.

This is my single biggest gripe with computers, that I do not have absolute control over them and their programs.

I know, I know. They do exactly as they were programmed to do. [grin]

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Postby mprusse » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:32 pm

I have noticed the exact same issue with my broadcast emails I've sent from my Mac. I haven't had time to look into what might be the problem yet however.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:27 pm

Unless UTF-8 encoding is being used, then I would think encoding problems could very well happen. Don't Macs use a different encoding than Windows by default? And what about browsers like Safari vs. IE or Firefox?

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Postby jbh001 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:02 pm

elderj1 wrote:It was specifically composed on-line to try to insure that sorta stuff would not happen. I'm using a Mac. My browser default encoding is Western (ISO Latin 1)
If it was specifically composed on-line, that implies that you typed it directly into the browser. Which browser were you using? Safari? Firefox? Opera?

Which browser/email program was the user using? IE/Outlook? Firefox/Thunderbird? Safari?

Rather than blame the Mac, I would be tempted to blame MS since Safari, Firefox, and Thunderbird are much more standards compliant that IE and Outlook. If you have a Hotmail, Yahoo, or Gmail account, does the message display correctly there (i.e. when accessed via browser) than when it is accessed with a stand-alone email program like Outlook or Thunderbird?

So many different scenarios to explore.

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Postby jbh001 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:14 pm

mkmurray wrote:Unless UTF-8 encoding is being used, then I would think encoding problems could very well happen. Don't Macs use a different encoding than Windows by default?
I don't think so, not for browsers at least. This should be easy to test since both Safari and Firefox are available for both the Mac and Windows platforms. Perhaps the affected user needs to update/upgrade their email client/browser software to a newer version.

ISO-8859-1 should be the same on every platform, otherwise it's not ISO.
Unicode (UTF-8) should also be the same regardless of platform, otherwise it is not really Unicode.

I think most of the recent versions of email clients and browser software try to auto-detect which encoding to use for rendering based on the content. Earlier versions may have just assumed a default and kept it that was until the user manually intervened.

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Suggestion: compose in Notepad or plain ASCII text

Postby dmaynes » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:13 am

Alan_Brown wrote:Did you compose the information in a word processor and then paste it into the e-mail message? That looks like the kind of thing that happens when a special hyphen character (not the simple ASCII hyphen) is used. Word processors often create such special characters automatically.

If you compose the text in the web page, I doubt that this will happen, but I'll do a test and report back later this evening.


I have had the same problem with characters not rendering properly. I don't know what encoding is used by the e-mail system, but I have finally decided to compose all my e-mails in Notepad. Quotes and other characters may need to be deleted and then manually re-entered from the keyboard. If you just cut and paste from Word or an on-line document, you don't know what character that you are going to see.

I think the problem reported is exactly due to the situation as Alan describes above. I doubt that the problem being reported is due to an string interpretation rendering situation.

The thing that I hate about using Notepad is that it is very difficult to make the e-mail presentable when you are restricted to just ASCII, and you are not sure what the browser will do with spaces that you insert. So, I am sending out ugly e-mails where I use dashed lines as underlines and I try to use line spacing to separate out sections in the e-mail.

I would appreciate any suggestions for improving the appearance of the weekly e-mail that I send out.

Here's the kind of thing I am doing:

Church News
-------------------------------------
Joseph B. Wirthlin, Oldest Apostle, Dies, Age 91 - On December 1, Elder Wirthlin had gone to bed at his Salt Lake City home, and died peacefully at about 11:30 pm of causes incident to age. His oldest daughter, Jane Wirthlin Barker, was present. A member of the family had been staying and caring for Elder Wirthlin, whose wife, Elisa Young Rogers Wirthlin, died in 2006. He had continued to work at his office right up until the Thanksgiving holiday. Funeral arrangements will be announced. http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/joseph-b-wirthlin-oldest-apostle-dies-age-91

Mark your calendars!
-------------------------------------
Tithing Settlement - December 7, 10, 14 - Sign up sheets are at the Bishop's office
RS Christmas Dinner - December 10, 6:00 pm
Ward Christmas Party - December 12, 6:30 pm

Wednesday, 3 December 2008
-------------------------------------
RS Yoga/Pilates - 8:00 PM
Ward Basketball Practice - 9:00 PM

--------------------------

I always send myself a test message after pasting the e-mail text into the submission box. That way I can see what it will look like and whether any strange encoding problems are happening.

Thanks,
Dennis


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