New Article Alert

Unless you have trouble with your eyes (or you need to refresh your cache of my stylesheet) you'll have noticed the red box over on the right (assuming you're reading this from the homepage). That's my new way of telling you there's a fresh article. What do you think? Too in yer face? Does it look like there's been some kind of error? Maybe I'll tweak it a little to tone it down some. Notice the icon changes once you've "read" it. Neat, huh?

What's this one all about then? Character Sets!

The article came about when a planned blog on the subject got a little too long. The blog was going to describe why characters outside the ASCII range were screwing up on this site and what I did to fix it. I think it's worthy of an article. Even if you're not bothered about using in-line forms it's worth a read. I thought I knew everything about the web until I realised I was almost clueless about the use of charsets! I still don't fully understand them, but I'm getting there.

I opted to use UTF-8 for all pages of this site. Why? I read somewhere that was the best one to use…


  1. If you haven't read it before:

    The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!)


    Fantastic article. And I'm with you: I don't feel like I have a really solid understanding of character sets either, simply because I normally don't have to. All of my communication is in English, and everything we do at work is English, so it normally just doesn't come up. Nothing to really reinforce the learning.

    - Julian

    • avatar
    • Kamal Rij
    • Fri 11 Mar 2005 01:04


    The article links on the right corner (Latest Articles) section are not appearing on seperate lines.

    I'm using Firefox ver 1.0.1

    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Fri 11 Mar 2005 01:59

    I printed that our and read it probably a few years back now. At the time I didn't need to know it so it didn't sink in. I'll have another go. I'll add it to the article's further reading section as well. Thanks Julain.

    Kamal. Your CSS is cached.

  2. Julian -

    That's a pretty decent article, but if I recall, it falls short of being 'complete' - though definitely a worth while read. I remember getting to the end of it and feeling like some meat had been left out of it or Joel got going and then forgot to cover a few things. Maybe I need to reread it as well. :-)

  3. Ok. I reread it. And it makes more sense this time. It really does have the requisite meat.

    • avatar
    • Brandon
    • Fri 11 Mar 2005 14:42


    I like the article alert color! How did you get the icon to change after reading the article? CSS / cookie??


    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Fri 11 Mar 2005 16:45

    Come on Brandon! Don't be lazy. Work it out. If you can't work it out, you don't need to know ;o)

    • avatar
    • Karen
    • Sat 12 Mar 2005 11:50

    I really like the idea of an article alert color. Just not sure if red is the best choice (like you said, it does tend to symbolize an error). And the changing icon is fabulous. Nice work, as always, Jake.

  4. Never saw the red box, but the nice blue box looks really spic.

    When I saw the box disappear after viewing the article, I have to admit I was ready to proclaim javascript shenanigans.

    But then I looked for myself ;)

    The :visited/:link trick is simple and effective, I can't believe I've never thought of doing it. Love it.

  5. Same here. Of course, I immediately checked my cookies, and for sure did look puzzled for quite a moment.

    Next I really had to think, where to clear Firefox' history. I almost never use it, otherwise. Just one more highlight to the stunning new design.

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Written by Jake Howlett on Fri 11 Mar 2005

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CodeStore is all about web development. Concentrating on Lotus Domino, ASP.NET, Flex, SharePoint and all things internet.

Your host is Jake Howlett who runs his own web development company called Rockall Design and is always on the lookout for new and interesting work to do.

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