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Re: [tlug] Website Question(s)

Michael Smith wrote:
> "Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon" <> writes:
>>What is weird is that sometimes (not always) this squiggly line becomes 
>>two characters - a "%" and a "7", as follows:
>>Is the bloody squiggly line actually a two-bit character that must be a 
>>"%" and a "7" on some computers?

That depends on what the meaning of "actually" is (how's that for a 
Clintonian answer?). As I'm sure you are aware, every character that 
gets processed by a computer is represented internally by some sort of 

> Whatever bozo thought it was a good 
>>idea to put that in there should have their neck wrung!
> That is indeed some crazy and bizarre, wacky mixed-up stuff.

Not at all. It's called URL encoding, and it provides a means to use any 
character in a URL, even those that are technically illegal. It's a form 
of escaping, rather like the \ that you often need to use in the shell 
or in regular expressions. '%' is the escape character, and the next two 
characters are the character code (in UTF-8, if I'm not mistaken). E.g., 
'%7E' is the code for '~'.

There are a number of characters that have special meaning in URLs, and 
*must* be escaped when they are used without those special meanings. 
'&', '?', and '@' are some common ones. There are other characters that 
should be escaped in order to be extra-safe. The tilde '~' is one of 
those, though I don't really know what problem it could potentially 
cause. Here's a simple tutorial for ya:

For more info, just google for "url encoding." You'll get lots of hits.

Matt Gushee
Englewood, CO, USA

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