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Controlling the characters used in documents


Controlling the characters used in documents

Hi all,

We have set an application to edit and publish online educational contents. The editors create the content in XML with Arbortext 6.0 and then through some XSL and XSL-FO it gets online.

It happens that some of the online students use tablets to read the contents, so we have to be very careful as to which characters are used in the documents, since some tablets don't have the fonts to display them. Notwithstandig, some fonts are needed even though they are not presents in all tablets, so we have created some webfonts for, let's say, some mathematical characters like the R for real numbers, or the square root. The editors write the UTF-8 character in the XML document, and then, through the XSL we apply to them a webfont.

The problem is that we cannot create the total arrary of UTF-8 in webfonts. We use just around 40. So whenever an editor uses a new character not part of the 40, it doesn't display in some tablets.

So far if we set the XML to ISO-8859-1 instead of UTF-8, it has no impact, since the chracters get in the XML in haxadecimal form intstead of as two bytes characters, which is of no help at all...

Any idea of how to control the set of characters used?


Gabriel Oreggioni
DeTeDe, XML - Editorial


Two things come to mind:

1. Explore MathJax for your equations. The latest beta release supports STIX via webfonts. Eg. “extra special” characters could be wrapped up as inline MathML. Beats images anyway!
2. Limit the input character set. You may not be able to do that directly in Arbortext, without having a hook called every time the user tries to do an action (enter character, delete, copy/paste, etc.). You could limit via a post-edit validation step.

Gareth Oakes
Chief Architect, GPSL

We sidestep this issue, or maybe it's only a related one, by restricting
support for special characters to the use of an element. <special_character<br/>type="euro"/> for example. It requires each output's stylesheet to resolve
the character, of course, but it bypasses multiple,
parsings/mappings/etc. that can occur in the pipeline.

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