HTML character codes in ActionMailer subject

Hi,

We have our e-mail subjects stored in I18n locale files. For the
English version of the website, we had no problem, but now we're
translating to German, which uses a lot of symbols like ü and
Ü for example. We store them as character codes in the YAML
files, but most e-mail clients won't parse HTML-code in the subjects.
Is it fine to just use the actual characters in the YAML files? Will
that work on any system?

Thanks in advance!

Jaap Haagmans wrote:

Hi,

We have our e-mail subjects stored in I18n locale files. For the
English version of the website, we had no problem, but now we're
translating to German, which uses a lot of symbols like ü and
Ü for example. We store them as character codes in the YAML
files,

Why? That's a really bad idea.

but most e-mail clients won't parse HTML-code in the subjects.
Is it fine to just use the actual characters in the YAML files?

Yes.

Will
that work on any system?

Yes, provided you specify the correct encoding (I recommend UTF-8 for
everything).

Thanks in advance!

Best,

> We have our e-mail subjects stored in I18n locale files. For the
> English version of the website, we had no problem, but now we're
> translating to German, which uses a lot of symbols like ü and
> Ü for example. We store them as character codes in the YAML
> files,

Why? That's a really bad idea.

Because the subject lines are used in our website as well. xHTML
strict needs our "strange" characters to be character codes.

> but most e-mail clients won't parse HTML-code in the subjects.
> Is it fine to just use the actual characters in the YAML files?

Yes.

> Will
> that work on any system?

Yes, provided you specify the correct encoding (I recommend UTF-8 for
everything).

Thanks. Is there a way to convert these HTML character codes to the
actual characters?

Jaap

? What makes you think that? Or to put it another way: no, it doesn't :slight_smile:

Hassan Schroeder wrote:

> We have our e-mail subjects stored in I18n locale files. For the
> English version of the website, we had no problem, but now we're
> translating to German, which uses a lot of symbols like ü and
> Ü for example. We store them as character codes in the YAML
> files,

Because the subject lines are used in our website as well. xHTML
strict needs our "strange" characters to be character codes.

? What makes you think that? Or to put it another way: no, it doesn't
:slight_smile:

Right. In both HTML 4 and XHTML, any Unicode character is valid.

But even if that weren't so, you should be storing the actual "strange"
characters and escaping them on output. And you've just discovered why.

--
Hassan Schroeder ------------------------ hassan.schroeder@gmail.com
twitter: @hassan

Best,

Let me put in another way: we have multiple people updating the
language strings in the YAML files. For people working on OS X, the
characters will show up as squares on Linux and vice versa. I only
control one of these systems. How would you approach this? Our
approach has worked for some time now this way and we only have
problems with ActionMailer subjects.

Jaap Haagmans wrote:

Let me put in another way: we have multiple people updating the
language strings in the YAML files. For people working on OS X, the
characters will show up as squares on Linux and vice versa. I only
control one of these systems. How would you approach this?

Put the UTF-8 characters in the files. Make sure everyone's editor is
set to UTF-8.

Our
approach has worked for some time now this way

It's the wrong approach. You should apply any necessary escaping on
output. As you've discovered, pre-escaped data is unusable if you're
generating multiple formats.

and we only have
problems with ActionMailer subjects.

No, you'll have problems with anything that isn't HTML. So...do it
right. Store the actual characters. Let the renderer escape characters
on output. This is the correct and flexible approach.

Best,