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6 posts

Wannabe Geek


#153601 2-Oct-2014 15:00
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For some years I have been managing my website using Microsoft Publisher 2013 - to create/update the WYSIWYG Publisher file, have Publisher convert it to HTML and upload it to Vodafone (iHug).

Recently however, when updating my website, a whole range of 'symbols' - single & double quotation marks, en dashes, em dashes, apostrophes, currency signs, etc - have turned into black diamonds with white question marks in them.

A technical person at Vodafone has offered the following as the reason:

 

“Vodafone rebuilt the webhosting environment recently. Over the years many things have changed from a “standards” point of view, and certain things are a lot more strict on apache.  Especially on the UTF / ISO character sets and how the Apache web server interprets certain characters.

 

 

 

First thing I noticed from the customers code, is that it looks like he is using some Microsoft HTML editor which normally is not a bad thing, assuming you host your website on a IIS platform.  Microsoft website editors normally writes their code in a manner where it “assumes” certain things will be in place and available on the web server, like eg. frontpage extensions etc.

 

 

 

The webhosting product Vodafone offers is a very basic service and does not support these extensions."


Does anyone know if there is another website software product which like Publisher, which can be used by a 'non-techie' to rebuild / maintain my site? Or, preferably another domain hosting service which can use the MS-Publisher HTML file and not cause me the same grief? 

Many thanks.


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7068 posts

Uber Geek

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  #1145671 2-Oct-2014 15:04
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Sounds like a character set issue. Do your pages have a <meta charset="utf-8" /> or similar element in the <head>?

4092 posts

Uber Geek


  #1145680 2-Oct-2014 15:16
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Think you might struggle in this day in age without going to a CMS (content managed system) like wordpress etc or switching to Adobe Dreamweaver or similar and customizing it to your look.

The only real way I imagine is to look out for a hosting company that specifies you can choose apache or an IIS based host.

Apache is widely used as it is able to run a stable set of services but host many virtual clients/hosts off it at once with little configuration at the hosting end. But it does rely on some fairly normal standards to be used within the pages.

So unless you can find a plugin/mod they have onhand already, you may need to manually adjust the code to suit. Normally diamonds and ?s are incorrect code, or no handler can work out how to treat it.

 
 
 
 


4092 posts

Uber Geek


  #1145686 2-Oct-2014 15:21
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Behodar: Sounds like a character set issue. Do your pages have a <meta charset="utf-8" /> or similar element in the <head>?


Good point, however it looks as though when in GUI mode, you have no way of seeing the HTML code it is going to use lol

Need to open the exported HTML file after the fact to see what it has added, which would be a PIA to change all the time



6 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #1145690 2-Oct-2014 15:27
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I believe you are right. The email from the VF tech also said the following: 

 

"...should look at another website editor which is more “W3” compliant... and... If we were using a Microsoft IIS web server (being a Microsoft product) it would have worked, but in fact we are running on a Linux / Unix based webserver (Apache)."

 

When I open up my website, here's what I see at the top (and I have no idea what it means):

<html xmlns:v="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml"
xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"
xmlns:dt="uuid:C2F41010-65B3-11d1-A29F-00AA00C14882"
xmlns="http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40">

<head>
<meta http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
<link rel=File-List href="index_files/filelist.xml">


On a one-off basis, the VF people have fixed up the site (mostly) by changing the coding. An example they provided was:

 

language:en-NZ'>The problem is the edges of Piano's Shard jut out past the flat planes of the building's façade a flourish that gives the building its crystalline appearance. But when the lights are on in any given room, the projecting glass edges act as mirrors beaming a reflection of one room's interior onto the windows of another.</span></p>

changed to:

 

language:en-NZ'>The problem is the edges of Piano's Shard jut out past the flat planes of the building's fa&#231;ade a flourish that gives the building its crystalline appearance. But when the lights are on in any given room, the projecting glass edges act as mirrors beaming a reflection of one room's interior onto the windows of another.</span></p>

 

Thanks for your interest in my problem.

17 posts

Geek


  #1145692 2-Oct-2014 15:28
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Yup the two guys above got it spot on.

I would first try the suggestion to just mention in your HTML code to use UTF-8 character support.  **that should sort most of it out**
Otherwise just cleanup the code with little changes here and there where you see <> brackets with funny code in the HTML text.

Dont disregard other HTML editors, nowdays there are nice free ones out there, which does help a lot to make website editing a breeze.  Sometimes diving into it, and playing around with it, you pick things up very quickly. 

For your average normal non-tech-savvy person, a CMS is of course the best way forward if you like to make many updates to your site.  But that is only provided by dedicated hosting providers which offers stuff like eg. wordpress.

4092 posts

Uber Geek


  #1145702 2-Oct-2014 15:36
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On a one-off basis, the VF people have fixed up the site (mostly) by changing the coding. An example they provided was:
language:en-NZ'>The problem is the edges of Piano's Shard jut out past the flat planes of the building's façade a flourish that gives the building its crystalline appearance. But when the lights are on in any given room, the projecting glass edges act as mirrors beaming a reflection of one room's interior onto the windows of another.</span></p>

changed to: language:en-NZ'>The problem is the edges of Piano's Shard jut out past the flat planes of the building's fa&#231;ade a


Ahh, that particular issue is the text encoding/font set. Using funky MS based characters.. (as pointed out in the header information) is not the best idea :).

The unicode set as pointed out can cater for the special characters like Lowercase c-cedil

http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_charset.asp

Scroll down and you can see he 231 char there



6 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #1145721 2-Oct-2014 15:59
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Thanks very much Uber Geek and Wannabe Geek.

 

I did set the encoding in Publisher to “Unicode (UTF-8)”, but that didn’t seem to do anything. It was previously set to, I think, Western European (English).

 

So, if I load the site and then open it up to expose the HTML, wherever I see a diamond I should take away the < > and replace with a Unicode at the site you have provided, Uber?

Having looked at that site (http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_charset.asp), an apostrophe is number 39. What do I put with the 39 so it know’s it’s a code for an apostrophe, i.e. "don39t" wouldn't work, I don't think?
Similarly, a hyphen.  For example, does dog-house become dog#150house, or something similar in the code?

 
 
 
 


4092 posts

Uber Geek


  #1145763 2-Oct-2014 16:36
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It depends on what its putting between said <>s. Some of it could be valid. But if its only special characters not applying right and showing them on the page, and If it doesn't do it inline properly at first, its &#123; where you want the char to appear

A copy paste list is here http://www.utexas.edu/learn/html/spchar.html



6 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #1145869 2-Oct-2014 18:44
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Thanks Oblivian. I'll see how I go.

597 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1146141 2-Oct-2014 22:32
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Just as a note, the Vodafone techie is wrong when he talks about Microsoft website editor assuming it's going to be used on IIS.

The web publishing feature you are using was deprecated in 2010 products and hasn't been upgraded or updated since.

The 2013 products were stripped down even more.

It's a rotting feature that you should ditch and get a real wysiwyg tool.




Regards
Stefan Andres Charsley

1939 posts

Uber Geek


  #1146314 3-Oct-2014 09:42
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charsleysa: The web publishing feature you are using was deprecated in 2010 products and hasn't been upgraded or updated since.

The 2013 products were stripped down even more.

It's a rotting feature that you should ditch and get a real wysiwyg tool.


In my experience most Microsoft products that can generate HTML pages (Publisher, Word, Power Point, etc) would create horribly bloated and convoluted HTML code.  Even Frontpage, which was a real HTML editor, would quite happily create rubbish code that was three or four times more complicated than it needed to be.

I had to once do some work on a website that had been made for a client by his marketing company and they had used Front Page and obviously never heard of style sheets; every paragraph had font attributes in them and lots of <spans> around nothing, eg:

<span style="font-family:Arial"><o:p></o:p></span>

597 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1146329 3-Oct-2014 09:46
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MurrayM:
charsleysa: The web publishing feature you are using was deprecated in 2010 products and hasn't been upgraded or updated since.

The 2013 products were stripped down even more.

It's a rotting feature that you should ditch and get a real wysiwyg tool.


In my experience most Microsoft products that can generate HTML pages (Publisher, Word, Power Point, etc) would create horribly bloated and convoluted HTML code.  Even Frontpage, which was a real HTML editor, would quite happily create rubbish code that was three or four times more complicated than it needed to be.

I had to once do some work on a website that had been made for a client by his marketing company and they had used Front Page and obviously never heard of style sheets; every paragraph had font attributes in them and lots of <spans> around nothing, eg:

<span style="font-family:Arial"><o:p></o:p></span>


It's a legacy tool that has been around quite a while and still won't die, kinda like how XP refuses to die.

Microsoft's real Web editors do generate compliant code, then again they don't actually generate much code (I'm talking about their WebMatrix product which I use as my primary Web development tool).




Regards
Stefan Andres Charsley



6 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #1146422 3-Oct-2014 10:47
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Thanks Ultimate Geek.
Gosh, I hate the thought of trying to create my website... and I know nothing about HTML coding.
I hadn't heard of Webmatrix and just had a look on the 'Net - a hosting service from Microsoft Azure. I'm wondering if I somehow loaded by MS-Publisher created site to Azure, if it would work since it'd be "all in the family".
Also not sure how this would affect email - the site is xxx.co.nz and that is also our email address, e.g. mike@xxx.co.nz. Both are currently with Vodafone (iHug).
Mike


597 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1146425 3-Oct-2014 10:51
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Howzzat: Thanks Ultimate Geek.
Gosh, I hate the thought of trying to create my website... and I know nothing about HTML coding.
I hadn't heard of Webmatrix and just had a look on the 'Net - a hosting service from Microsoft Azure. I'm wondering if I somehow loaded by MS-Publisher created site to Azure, if it would work since it'd be "all in the family".
Also not sure how this would affect email - the site is xxx.co.nz and that is also our email address, e.g. mike@xxx.co.nz. Both are currently with Vodafone (iHug).
Mike



WebMatrix is not azure, it's a Web development tool that can be used with azure but not mandatory.

My recommendation would be to ditch publisher and get a proper CMS with a wysiwyg content editor.




Regards
Stefan Andres Charsley



6 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #1146579 3-Oct-2014 13:13
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Hi Stefan,
Can you recommend a good "proper CMS with a wysiwyg content editor" for a marginally skilled novice?
Mike


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