Apache2 displays "?" instead of characters such as . ' or even - in selected cases.
Posted on 2004-08-05
I recently moved a couple of websites from Apache 1.3.x to Apache2.x
On some of the sites there are "posting" systems, where users copied text into a text area and then posted the content to the website.
Previously, it seems that users copied straight from MS Word documents (including formatting such as new lines, paragraphs and even bullets etc) and the display was in most cases fairly close to correct. I did see one or two "?" in the webpages for things that Apache could not recognise, however these characters always "converted" correctly ' , : , - , . .
Now, after the move to Apache2, many of the articles that previously displayed correctly, now have "?" in place of some full-stops, hyphens and bullets.
I've looked at the httpd.conf in the hope that by some accident the old Apache loaded a diferent/extra character set than the new Apache, but to my horror, Apache2 seems to have even more "support" for character sets than Apache 1.3.x, so it seems this is not the cause of the strange display.
Does anyone have similar experience and perhaps a workaraound? ( I'm not looking for a perfect "conversion" since I know well it is not possible to simply "copy & paste" a Word doc and retain all layout and functions; we have instructed the users NOT to copy & paste from Word, but to type the text by hand and use the formatting tools of the posting box to get things like Bold, Italics, bullets etc. but you know how users are, if they find a "shortcut" that partially works, they will use it, and then complain if it doesn't deliver perfect results...)
Thanks for any help.