Thai characters and AJAX

Posted on 2007-11-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Hi all,

Our JSP application accepts Thai as the input and will display back to the user their input. Those inputs will be stored in to the Database. The application is running on Resin. Not long ago, we implemented Ajax into our application and the Thai characters is not being stored properly. It was stored and displayed as ?????.

Is it caused by Ajax? What kind of encodings is required? Currently, in the jsp page, we specify <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">

Thanks all for the help.

Question by:rospcc
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LVL 92

Assisted Solution

objects earned 60 total points
ID: 20364595
>  <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">

try changing it to utf8

Author Comment

ID: 20364672
tried that and it doesnt work
LVL 35

Assisted Solution

TimYates earned 60 total points
ID: 20364746
Can you add some debug to check it is the ajax -> java boundary that is causing the issues?

How is the ajax implemented?  Are you using something like DWR?

Have you seen this thread:  http://lists.evolt.org/pipermail/javascript/2006-August/011076.html

It talks about PHP, but the same problem...

They ended up encoding their data with a Base64 implementation http://www.webtoolkit.info/javascript-base64.html

But as that thread says, that isn't finding the problem...it's just working round it

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LVL 75

Assisted Solution

by:Michel Plungjan
Michel Plungjan earned 60 total points
ID: 20365045
And if you set the content charset to utf-8 the DATA needs to be utf-8 too and not windows-874, ISO-8859-11, tis-620  or whatever

LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 20365185
check database, what values it is storing?

Author Comment

ID: 20370194
We are Ms SQL 2000. The column is set to NVarchar type.

Without going through AJAX, the Thai characters can be stored and viewed correctly. In the database, it's being stored as something like this: &#80&#97&#115&#115&.

However, when we let the saving goes through AJAX, the Thai characters was stored as ???? instead. Is there any proceesing or conversion done within the AJAX layer?
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 20376912
You should post your Ajax code.

The HTML content type -- which if you've left it as iso-8859-1 is wrong: it should be utf-8 as "objects" said -- matters for setting variables in Javascript.  If your data is being handed around as Javascript vars, then that might be why the values are incorrectly encoded when they are submitted through the Ajax calls.

Author Comment

ID: 20400452
Yes. The data is being passed to Javascript. Is that the cause of the problem? Any encoding we can specify in javascript?
function confirmSave(type, messageToDisplay)
	if (xmlHttp==null)
	alert ("Browser does not support HTTP Request")
	var clicked = false;
	if(confirm(messageToDisplay)) {
		clicked = true;
	} else {
		return false;
         var url	="GetQuestions.jsp"
	url=url+"?go=3&finish=" + type
	if (document.getElementById( "qeustionID" ) != null && document.getElementById( "questionID" ).value != "") {
		var questionIDtemp = "" + document.Question.questonID.value
		var questionID = questionIDtemp.split(",")
		for(i=0; i < questionID.length; i++) {
			if (document.getElementById( questionID[i] ).value != "") {
				url=url+"&" + questionID[i] + "=" + document.getElementById( questionID[i] ).value;

Open in new window

LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 20401127
It looks as if you are not putting quotes around your values in the Javascript.  If you don't explicitly put quotes around them, and the values look possibly numeric, Javascript attempts to read the values as numbers, which is probably where the ???? is coming from.

Author Comment

ID: 20408560
Currently, we store the thai characters as &#80&#97&#115&#115&. If we use utf-8, it will store the Thai characters as it is.  The problem will be solved once we changed how the Thai characters are stored in our DB. However, we are not planning to do so in the near future because it required major revamping.

With iso-8859-1, we have checked that ??? problem occured when we read the parameters from the javascript url. When we called request.getParameter() of one of the url parameters, it will return ????. If we did not read from the url, i.e. calling request.getParameter() of the field of the form itself, it will return &#80&#97&#115&#115&.

With utf-8, when we called request.getParameter() of one of the url parameters and calling request.getParameter() of the field of the form itself, it will return the thai characters.  However, we do not want to store characters. We need to store the thai characters as &#80&#97&#115&#115&.

My question is how can i convert thai characters to this from &#80&#97&#115&#115& using javascript?
We are thinking to convert the thai characters in javascript before passing it as parameter.

LVL 27

Accepted Solution

mrcoffee365 earned 1320 total points
ID: 20409667
>>thai characters as &#80&#97&#115&#115&.

Those characters are encoded "Pass", which is not Thai.  To help everyone debug, we should probably be looking at real Thai characters, for example:

If you're passing your Thai value as a parameter on the URL, then you should encode the value.  It doesn't look as if you're doing that.  

If you still want to turn your input Thai chars into the Unicode entity representations (e.g., &#[1234];) in the Javascript before passing them as a parameter, then this person has written a set of Javascript functions to do that:

Do a view source to see the functions he has created.

Author Comment

ID: 20410093
Thank you mrcoffee365. I have managed to store my Thai characters correctly by encoding the Thai characters before passing it as parameters.

Just wondering, is there other better way of doing it? If there isnt then i will close this question tomorrow evening.
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 20412328
Glad to help.

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