Posts Tagged ‘content type’

How to convert file content encoded in windows-cp1251 charset to UTF-8 (with iconv) to be delivered properly encoded to browsing end clients

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

windows-cp1251 bulgarian to UTF-8 / Encoding Communication Decoding Communication Funny Picture

I have a bunch of old html files all encoded in the historically obsolete Windows-cp1251. Windows-CP1251 used to be common used 7 years ago and therefore still big portions of the web content in Bulgarian / Russian Cyrillic is still transferred to the end users in this encoding.

This was just before the "UTF-8 revolution", where massively people started using UTF-8,
Well it was clear the specific national country text encoding standards will quickly be moved by to UTF-8 – Universal Encoding format which abbreviation stands for (Unicode Transformation Format).

Though UTF-8 was clear to be "the future", many web developers mostly because of their incompetency or using an old sources of learning how to writen in HTML continued to use windows-cp1251 in HTMLs. I'm even convinced, there are still developers out there who are writting websites for Bulgarian / Russian / Macedonian customers using obsolete encodings …

The smarter developers of those accustomed to windows-cp1251, KOI-8R etc. etc., were using the meta tag to specify the type of charset of the web page content with:

<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=windows-cp1251">

or

<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=koi-8r">

Anyhow, still many devs even didn't placed the windows-cp1251 in the head of the HTML …

The result for the system administrator is always a mess – a lot of webpages that are showing like unreadable signs and tons of unhappy customers.
As always the system administrator is considered responsible, for the programmer mistakes :). So instead of programmers fix their bad cooking, the admin has to fix it all!

One quick work around me as admin has applied to failing to display pages in Cyrillic using the Windows-cp1251 character encoding was to force windows-cp1251 as a default encoding for the whole virtualhost or Apache directory with Apache directives like:

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerAdmin some_user@some_host.com
DocumentRoot /var/www/html
AddDefaultCharset windows-cp1251
ServerName the_host_name.com
ServerAlias www.the_host_name.com
....
....
<Directory>
AddDefaultCharset windows-cp1251
>/Directory>
</VirtualHost>

Though this mostly would, work there are some occasions, where only a particular html files from all the content served by Apache is encoded in windows-cp1251, if most of the content is already written in UTF-8, this could be a big issues as you cannot just change the UTF-8 globally to windows-cp1251, just because few pages are written in archaic encoding….
Since most of the content is displayed to the client by Apache (as prior explained) just fine, only particular htmls lets's ay single.html, single2.html etc. etc. are displayed with some question marks or some non-human readable "hieroglyphs".

Below is a screenshot from two pages returned to my browser in wrongly set htmls charset:

Improper Windows CP1251 encoding with Apache set to serve UTF-8 encoding questiomarks

Improper Windows CP1251 delivered page in UTF-8 browser view

Apache returns cp1251 in some non-UTF8 wrong encoding (webserver improperly served cyrillic encoding)

Improperly served encoding CP1251 delivered by Apache in non-utf-8 encoding

When this kind of issues occur, the only solution is to simply login to the server and use iconv command to convert all files returning unreadable content from whatever the non UTF-8 encoding is lets say in my case Bulgarian typeset of cp1251 to UTF-8

Here is how the iconv command to convert between windows-cp1251 to utf-8 the two sample files named single1.html and single2.html

server:/web# /usr/bin/iconv -f WINDOWS-1251 -t UTF-8 single1.html > single1.html.utf8
server:/web# mv single1.html single1.html.bak;
server:/web# mv single1.html.utf8 single1.html
server:/web# /usr/bin/iconv -f WINDOWS-1251 -t UTF-8 single2.html > single2.html.utf8
server:/web# mv single2.html single2.html.bak;
server:/web# mv single2.html.utf8 single2.html

I always, make copies of the original cp1251 encoded files (as you see mv single1.html single1.html.bak), because if something goes wrong with convertion I can easily revert back.

If there are 10 files with consequential numbers naming they can be converted using a short for loop, like so:

server:/web# for i $(seq 1 10); do
/usr/bin/iconv -f WINDOWS-1251 -t UTF-8 single$i.html > single$i.html.utf8;mv single$i.html single$i.html.bak
mv single$i.html.utf8 single$i.html
done

Just as earlier mentioned if single1.html, single2.html … has in the html <head>:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1251">

You should open, each of the files in question and wipe out the line either by hand or use sed to wipe it in one loop if it has to be done for lets say 10 files named (single{1..10})

server:/web# for i in $(seq 1 10); do
sed '/<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text\/html; charset=windows-1251>/d' single$i.txt > single$i.txt.new;
mv single$i.txt single$i.txt.bak;
mv single$i.txt.new single$i.txt

Well now,

Tiny PHP script to dump your browser set HTTP headers (useful in debugging)

Friday, March 30th, 2012

While browsing I stumbled upon a nice blog article

Dumping HTTP headers

The arcitle, points at few ways to DUMP the HTTP headers obtained from user browser.
As I'm not proficient with Ruby, Java and AOL Server what catched my attention is a tiny php for loop, which loops through all the HTTP_* browser set variables and prints them out. Here is the PHP script code:

<?php<br />
foreach($_SERVER as $h=>$v)<br />
if(ereg('HTTP_(.+)',$h,$hp))<br />
echo "<li>$h = $v</li>\n";<br />
header('Content-type: text/html');<br />
?>

The script is pretty easy to use, just place it in a directory on a WebServer capable of executing php and save it under a name like:
show_HTTP_headers.php

If you don't want to bother copy pasting above code, you can also download the dump_HTTP_headers.php script here , rename the dump_HTTP_headers.php.txt to dump_HTTP_headers.php and you're ready to go.

Follow to the respective url to exec the script. I've installed the script on my webserver, so if you are curious of the output the script will be returning check your own browser HTTP set values by clicking here.
PHP will produce output like the one in the screenshot you see below, the shot is taken from my Opera browser:

Screenshot show HTTP headers.php script Opera Debian Linux

Another sample of the text output the script produce whilst invoked in my Epiphany GNOME browser is:

HTTP_HOST = www.pc-freak.net
HTTP_USER_AGENT = Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.2+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0 Safari/531.2+ Debian/squeeze (2.30.6-1) Epiphany/2.30.6
HTTP_ACCEPT = application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,text/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5
HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING = gzip
HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE = en-us, en;q=0.90
HTTP_COOKIE = __qca=P0-2141911651-1294433424320;
__utma_a2a=8614995036.1305562814.1274005888.1319809825.1320152237.2021;wooMeta=MzMxJjMyOCY1NTcmODU1MDMmMTMwODQyNDA1MDUyNCYxMzI4MjcwNjk0ODc0JiYxMDAmJjImJiYm; 3ec0a0ded7adebfeauth=22770a75911b9fb92360ec8b9cf586c9;
__unam=56cea60-12ed86f16c4-3ee02a99-3019;
__utma=238407297.1677217909.1260789806.1333014220.1333023753.1606;
__utmb=238407297.1.10.1333023754; __utmc=238407297;
__utmz=238407297.1332444980.1586.413.utmcsr=pc-freak.net|utmccn=(referral)|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/blog/

You see the script returns, plenty of useful information for debugging purposes:
HTTP_HOST – Virtual Host Webserver name
HTTP_USER_AGENT – The browser exact type useragent returnedHTTP_ACCEPT – the type of MIME applications accepted by the WebServerHTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE – The language types the browser has support for
HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING – This PHP variable is usually set to gzip or deflate by the browser if the browser has support for webserver returned content gzipping.
If HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING is there, then this means remote webserver is configured to return its HTML and static files in gzipped form.
HTTP_COOKIE – Information about browser cookies, this info can be used for XSS attacks etc. 🙂
HTTP_COOKIE also contains the referrar which in the above case is:
__utmz=238407297.1332444980.1586.413.utmcsr=pc-freak.net|utmccn=(referral)
The Cookie information HTTP var also contains information of the exact link referrar:
|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/blog/

For the sake of comparison show_HTTP_headers.php script output from elinks text browser is like so:

* HTTP_HOST = www.pc-freak.net
* HTTP_USER_AGENT = Links (2.3pre1; Linux 2.6.32-5-amd64 x86_64; 143x42)
* HTTP_ACCEPT = */*
* HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING = gzip,deflate * HTTP_ACCEPT_CHARSET = us-ascii, ISO-8859-1, ISO-8859-2, ISO-8859-3, ISO-8859-4, ISO-8859-5, ISO-8859-6, ISO-8859-7, ISO-8859-8, ISO-8859-9, ISO-8859-10, ISO-8859-13, ISO-8859-14, ISO-8859-15, ISO-8859-16, windows-1250, windows-1251, windows-1252, windows-1256,
windows-1257, cp437, cp737, cp850, cp852, cp866, x-cp866-u, x-mac, x-mac-ce, x-kam-cs, koi8-r, koi8-u, koi8-ru, TCVN-5712, VISCII,utf-8 * HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE = en,*;q=0.1
* HTTP_CONNECTION = keep-alive
One good reason, why it is good to give this script a run is cause it can help you reveal problems with HTTP headers impoperly set cookies, language encoding problems, security holes etc. Also the script is a good example, for starters in learning PHP programming.

 

Test your web browser compatability with Acid3 test

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Acid3 Test is a group of browser compitability tests. Acid3 test is a good indicator on how Web ready is your browser.

Acidtest is part of the web standards project. Latest Firefox 9.0.1 passes the test on 100% (100/100).
I've tried it with Epiphany and it scored only 67/100, still I'm using Epiphany on daily basis and I'm quite happy with it.
Acid3 browser compitability Test Firefox 9.0.1
The tests involved are testing browser for:
 

  • DOM
  • DOM2
  • Checks on HTML tables and forms browser rendering
  • SVG compitability testing
  • DOM1 and DOM2 compitability
  • Various ECMA Script Javascript compitability tests
  • Unicode (UTF-16 and UTF-8) browser compitability
  • XHML, SMIL, CSS, HTML compitability
  • Content-type image/png, text plain etc.

Acid3 browser test fail
The Acid3 test is written itself in Javascript. It consists of 6 testing "stages" (buckets) upon which the browser tested is evaluated.
Each of the test is represented visually by a rectangle. If the a test stage is passed you see a new rectangle appearing in the tested browser.
In wikipedia, there is a thorough list with web browsers by type and engine and the level of support for the Acid3 test.
The test is of great use if you're web developer.

For the School-examination

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Tell me which ideotic government would create a site based on php and would make the serverunder Windows?

Just Guess ours the Bulgarian ministry of Science and Knowledge has started a new site dedicated to helping graduating school pupils with the Future School-examinationthey have to make.

It’s pretty easy to see that just observe:

jericho% telnet zamaturite.bg 80

Trying 212.122.183.208…

Connected to zamaturite.bg.
Escape character is ‘^]’.
HEAD / HTTP/1.0HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Connection: close
Expires: Thu, 19 Nov 1981 08:52:00 GMT
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 19:10:18 GMT
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8Server: Apache/2.2.6 (Win32) PHP/5.2.5X-Powered-By: PHP/5.2.5Set-Cookie: PHPSESSID=fn5jtjbet7clrapi0a5e5kgvt7; path=/
Cache-Control: no-store, no-cache, must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0
Pragma: no-cache
Keep-Alive: timeout=5, max=100
Connection closed by foreign host.
jericho%

Just great our Bulgarian government spend money on buying proprietary software OS to run a Free Software based solution.

This example is pretty examplary of what our country looks like. Sad …

END—–