HTML entities in the handbook

• Dec 30, 2018 - 20:07


What is the policy regarding the use of HTML entities in the handbook?

I can see how it might make sense to use &lt; and &gt; instead of < and >, if only to help avoid confusion, although using < and > would not make a difference.

The opposite applies to &amp; -- I don't see any reason to use &amp; instead of & in the text.

&nbsp; is used on only one single page, deliberately.

And then of course you have &rarr;, &larr;, &uarr;, &darr;, and &crarr; (used multiple times) and &Delta;, &circ;, &oslash;, and &eacute; (used on one page only). The edit box is Unicode sensitive, so one could simply use the actual characters →, ←, ↑, ↓, ↵, , Δ, ˆ, ø, é, but what is the preference/policy about this?

(I have discovered that & must be entitised in the forum posts and when writing comments to handbook edits (e.g. I wrote a comment regarding a <ul> tag, and then discovered that I should have written a comment about a &lt;ul&gt; instead). AFAIK this requirement to use HTML entities applies only to the forum posts and edit comments, though.)



In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I understand that typing the Unicode characters may be problematic for some people, and therefore it would not be a problem if people were to use the entities, but what is the preference (if any)? If the user is perfectly capable of typing the Unicode characters, should he, or should be use the entities instead (or: is there no preference whatsoever)?

In reply to by Riaan van Niekerk

My opinion is that it is not necessary to have a rule that says ONLY entities or ONLY Unicode characters. You can use entities for some characters and Unicode characters for other character and still call it consistent or within the limits of consistency.

Jo-jo makes a good point, "The entities work everywhere, the Unicode ones not necessarily, like when editing on a mobile". This leads me to want to have a rule saying that anything you can type on a normal keyboard should not be entitised. This would mean that < and > should be used, not &lt; and &gt; However, what is a normal keyboard? Is a US International keyboard with deadkeys a normal keyboard? I can type é, à and ö without much trouble, but other people who use "ASCII" keyboards may wish those characters to be &eacute;, &agrave; and &umlo; instead. I'm going to have to sit out on this one except to say that the principle of using Unicode characters only if they are easy to type should be considered.

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