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Doesn’t anybody trust the user?

Latest in a long line of typography rants; I’m left wondering why such a great variety of programs place no faith in the end–user when it comes to character encoding. I speak with reference to the familiar Kung–Log and now Movable Type. So basically… all of my pages are broken (validity-wise and presentationally-speaking) and I’m in a state of shock and disillusionment. The sky is falling all over the place, here.

Kung–Log, as I’ve said before, has a habit of encoding characters without asking. The Unicode characters I had assumed it to be placing in my posts were actually being encoded to Numeric entities: an apostrophe becomes ’, an ellipsis becomes … etc. This isn’t a major problem since it makes the characters more backwards-compatible (as I’ve said before: Netscape 4 is incapable of displaying standard HTML entities like the copyright symbol’s © entity) but it’s still doing it without my knowledge or consent.

Movable Type, on the other hand, does god knows what to these Unicode characters. Earlier this evening, following last night’s Unicode revelation, I decided to search/replace all those (oldschool) common HTML entities with my lovely new Unicode characters from within MT. MT does have those characters in my posts, I know it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t publish them. Look down the page… lots of question marks where special characters should be. Lovely.

Like I said: shock and disillusionment. It’s also 3am, so I figure I might hit the sack and figure it all out another day… like tomorrow.