Saturday, November 11, 2006

unicode questions

i'm a dual platform guy. my desktop is windows and my laptop is mac. i've noticed that if i switch my mac into "arabic mode" and try to type something in this blog's comments in arabic script, it doesn't work. at first it seems to be okay; the arabic text appears as arabic in my little input window. that is, until i hit the publish the "publish" button. then each arabic character turns into a question mark (i'll write something in arabic for the first comment to this post as an example of what haloscan does to it)

the odd thing is that haloscan has no problem with arabic characters if i'm writing on a windows machine. and blogger has no trouble publishing arabic script from either platform. somehow the arabic mac interface is not interacting well with haloscan.

anyway, this came up because of the below post from the other day. i want to write something in arabic in the comments there this afternoon, but it keeps publishing as question marks. i could get off my ass, go upstairs, turn on the PC and write it there, but that's waaaaaaay up on the third floor. and i'm having such a nice time typing on my porch. you can see my dilemma.

so does anyone know a fix? activating the arabic mode on both my PC and mac took a couple of steps. it's possible that i missed one somewhere along the way. or maybe i should do something to my haloscan settings to make it more arabic mac friendly?

i've also noticed that sometimes emails in arabic come through as just garbled characters. and sometimes not. there doesn't seem to be any pattern for that one. sometimes the arabic characters are garbled, until i hit "reply." then i can read the arabic fine on the lower part of the window where it copies the prior message. that seems to be a problem on both the PC and mac, so it's probably something completely unrelated. but so long as i'm sitting on my ass here, i thought i'd ask.

UPDATE: never mind. i figured out the haloscan problem. if anyone else cares, the key is to mess with your haloscan account settings. under advanced settings, go to "character encoding" and switch it from the default ISO-8859-1 to UTF-8.

no, i have no idea what either of those settings mean. but who cares? it works now. and most importantly, i didn't have to get off my ass at all. (i'm still open to advice on my garbled email though)