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November 12, 2006

IE and apos character entity

Filed under: Markup,Web,XML — see @ 8:08 pm

I never thought about the character entity references too much. For XML I assumed at least the 5 predefined ones for character & <> ” and ‘. Naively I assumed this for HTML as well (plus the usual other ones used for years like entities for german umlauts etc).

But it seems I was wrong. ' which is the character entity for ‘ is only defined for XML but not HTML. It is used so seldom that it never struck me until I did some tests on IE 7 today. On my GIVE-A-WORD feature on my personal site I needed to escape ‘ as it is used in Javascript parts in element attributes which use ” as delimiter. So I had escaped ‘ with &apos; for quite some time now. It seems though that IE does not know this char ref and simple outputs the complete string… serving the exact same thing as application/xml does tickle IE into XML mode which then knows the ref. Really strange and unnecessary too. Solution would be to use a numeric reference, might do that or simple ignore this case which will happen rather seldom anyway.
For more details see e.g.


Not easy to write this post in WordPress BTW, the HTML editor keeps changing the entities or does weird things with them…

1 Comment »

  1. *sigh* Ok, so we can’t fault IE for not sticking with the standards, but this is still quite frustrating. Thanks for helping point out that this bug does have a rhyme and reason.

    Comment by Marcos Kuhns — March 13, 2007 @ 3:41 pm

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