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Character Encoding within Navigation Manager

This week I deployed my first project using V9 of Open Text Web Solutions’ Management Server (aka RedDot CMS) – and since it comes with the new XHTML compliant Text Editor (Telerik) – I decided it was time to do away with HTML Tidy.

Once I kicked off a full site publish and checked some of the pages using the W3C Validator, I noticed that my pages were riddled with validation errors. “What the….???”

It appears that all of the navigation links across the site outputted by the Navigation Manager were not being encoded – even though I turned on character conversion within my Project Variants (using the HTML Convert Table). Instead of outputting ‘&’ – the Navigation Manager would output ‘&’ whenever it encountered an ampersand character.

Since we’ve been using HTML Tidy for quite some time now, I never encountered this issue in the past since Tidy would handle the conversions for me.

Thanks to Jens @ Open Text support in Sydney, Australia – for providing this workaround which solved the encoding problem within the Navigation Manager:

replace:<%!! Context:CurrentIndex.Headline !!%>

with: <%!! Escape:HtmlEncode(Context:CurrentIndex.Page.Headline) !!%>

It turns out that John (aka RustyLogic) posted up the same tip on the RedDot CMS Users – Google Group some time back.. which goes to show that you don’t always need to rely on support to solve any CMS issues you may come across.

Check out my blog for more RedDot CMS and Navigation Manager articles.

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About the author:

Kim Dezen Kim Dezen is a Senior RedDot CMS (Open Text Web Solutions) CMS Consultant, Developer and Freelancer. Part time DJ and obsessed music / vinyl junkie. Follow me on Twitter: @kimdezen                  Check out my blog: http://www.kimdezen.com for all things related to Red Dot, SEO/SEM and Web Development.


9 comments for “Character Encoding within Navigation Manager”

  1. Hey Kim,

    there is only one huge disadvantage of this method: In 7.5, there was a bug in this Render Tag – if the content of this string contains a “:”, the result of this tag will be completely empty. As 9.0 is just some sort of “7.5 with OpenText logo”, I don’t believe that this bug is fixed yet (at least I couldn’d find anything in the release notes).

    Posted by Frederic Hemberger | March 11, 2009, 9:22 am
  2. [...] you english guys just follow this link to the Reddot CMS blog Open Text Web Solutions blog Watch your “encoding-steps”within Navigation [...]

    Posted by Character enconding im Navigation Manager (und die neue Version des “Open Text Web Solutions Servers 9″ eigentlich “RedDot CMS 7.6″) | RedDot CMS developer & TYPO3 freelancer blog - Markus Giesen | March 12, 2009, 3:46 am
  3. I made some tests. With the version 9 this issue seems to be solved. I’m still looking for workarounds regarding older versions of RedDot CMS 7.5
    IMPORTANT to know is, that if the element is empty the HtmlEncode returns “()”. Due to the Headline Element should never be empty this might not happen in our case, but still, it’s good to know… :)

    Posted by Markus Giesen | March 12, 2009, 3:52 am
  4. Hi Kim,

    You are brave to use the Telerik editor. I have found that it does not obey CSS correctly.

    Setup a simple fixed stylesheet applied to a text element.

    The example styles:

    img.floatLeft { float: left; margin-right: 10px; }

    img.floatRight { float: right; margin-left: 10px; }

    a.external { background: #fed; }

    a.popup { background: #efd; }

    When in the editor I can apply any style to any text. This is not expected behaviour.

    In the old editor, you could only apply the float style to an image and the external style only worked against a link.

    You’ll end up with tag soup if the user is not extremely careful with what they are doing.

    I will not be using Telerik until this is fixed. I have submitted it to RedDot who have confirmed and assigned as bug 521489


    Posted by RustyLogic | March 30, 2009, 3:46 pm
  5. hey guys

    Im having an issue with encoding on red dot!
    when i copy content(product info) from another site to add to the red dot site it dispalys as Windows-1252 format rather than UTF-8. I stated on the red dot page which type of encoding i use so in this case i want UFT-8, but this just aint happenign sometimes, hypens, quotes, TM, register marks and copyright marks just come up in square boxes or diamonds depending on the browser i view on! hope someone can help… thanks in advance

    Posted by grainne | July 20, 2009, 10:24 am
  6. Hi Grainne
    How are you copying content from the other site?

    Sometimes the copy/paste process brings across the final characters rather than the codes for them, the most common example is the quotes used in MS Word.

    Have you tried retyping the odd symbols once you’ve imported them? (tedious and slow, I know)

    Posted by Paul Smith | July 20, 2009, 11:12 am
  7. hey paul.

    thanks for the quick reply
    Its the editors that are updating the content, so they are just copying and pasting and its only recently we noticed the character encoding. So theres a back log of the number of pages that they have copied…so lots of changes, yeah i changed the old symbols by adding in ascii codes such as the ® mark for Register, but this is okay for me to do but our clients are not good at html and just want to copy and paste. is there any function in red dot to change encoding? it seems its copying in the characters and keeping them as they where on the site that they where copied from such as the curly quotes.



    Posted by grainne | July 20, 2009, 11:21 am
  8. hey guys, got it sorted, we had this in for the encoding defining which didnt work, we actaully needed this for it to work so it now removes all weird chanracters and trademarks etc and shows them correctly…saved me a lot of work that!

    Posted by grainne | July 20, 2009, 1:32 pm
  9. Hi,i want to ask some liveserver question, Can you reply for my mail

    Posted by John | December 15, 2009, 11:13 am

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