Special Characters

Displaying special glyphs, symbols and special characters such as:

& ' ? å ä ö

... is a tricky endeavor because they are not included in the standard Western Latin (English / Roman) character set (e.g. latin-1, ISO-8859-1). Plus some of these character have special meaning for various programming languages that Wimpy uses.

If Wimpy is being used in a region uses special characters, you can use the Customizer Tool's "Use Localized Characters" option. This option will cause the player to display non-roman characters using the end-users primary language that their computer is set up to use. Click here for more information on this option.


The problem is that servers (and programming languages) are generally set up using English character sets. Some characters hold special meaning for programming languages and can interfere with Flash, actionscript, XML, PHP and so on. Translations to non-English characters are handled on the client side or are translated on the server to display to the client.

Testing non-western characters requires that a PC's system be set up specifically for a given language. There is also an additional layer of complexity because a server can be configured specifically for use with a given language. In addition, not only does the server and the PC need to be in sync, but the HTML page that displays Wimpy and the wimpy.swf file need to also be in sync. So developing and testing is an enormous task.

To date, the only way to successfully display non-western characters is to run Wimpy off of an XML playlist. Using an XML playlist allows you to establish the characters directly in the XML - whereas using the "automatic" method of displaying the playlist within Wimpy is dependant on the server sending the characters to the player. When using the ID3 option to extract the title and artist information from the MP3 files is also dependent on the server interpreting the characters -- which is problematic if the server is not set up to handle non-western characters.


Alternative method:

Run Wimpy off of an XML playlist.

Create an XML playlist, then URL encode the <artist> and <title> information. You can URL encode this text using:
URL Encoder.

When using an XML playlist, you should URL encode special characters. Certain non-alpha-numeric characters can cause XML to "break." The following table notes the "bad characters" that must be URL encoded.

Bad Character Name XML encoding URL encoding
& ampersand &amp; %26
< less-than sign &lt; %3C
> greater-than sign &gt; %3E
apostrophe &apos; %27
" quotation &quot; %22


Alternative Server-side method:

If you're bent on using the automatic ID3 tag reading, you can try configuring the Wimpy scripts  and / or the server to handle non-Western characters. When going down this road, you should set the "Using Localized Characters " option in the Customizer tool so that the Wimpy flash file will know that a non-western character set is being used.

Non-western characters are double-byte characters, so the server needs to be able to handle double-byte characters.

When using the PHP version, you may have success if you're using the PHP version and PHP is configured with "Multibyte String Functions" - this feature may or may not be set up on your PHP enabled server.

When using the ASP version, you can configure the wimpy.asp script to use a specific character set.   Open wimpy.asp in a text editor and review the "Character mapping" section:

'// Character Mapping
'// If you are experiencing problems displaying glyphs and other
'// double-byte (multibyte) characters, set myCharSet
'// for your language's characters set here.
'// For more information on "codepage" see:
'// For more information on "CharSet" see:
'// In order to use a custom character mapping, you must "useCustomCharset" to "yes"
'// Example:
'// useCustomCharset = "yes"
useCustomCharset = "no"
myCodePage = 65001
myCharSet = "uft-8"







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