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Re: [grouper-users] Lite UI 1.5.0: accented characters displayed as "?"

Chronological Thread 
  • From: Dominique Petitpierre <>
  • To: Chris Hyzer <>
  • Cc: "" <>
  • Subject: Re: [grouper-users] Lite UI 1.5.0: accented characters displayed as "?"
  • Date: Tue, 09 Feb 2010 16:45:34 +0100
  • Organization: University of Geneva


Thanks for your reply (and sorry for the delay in answering)!

The problem was java on Unix: when not told otherwise, it assumes an
ASCII encoding and outputs question marks for all non ASCII
characters. I noticed it first by looking with a snooper at the
characters transmitted to the browser: the question marks were already
there. Then, when fiddling with, I noticed that the file in the grouper.war file generated by "ant war"
also had all its accented characters converted to question marks.

A simple workaround to the problem is to set a locale environment
variable before java starts; in my case LANG=fr_FR does the trick,
but LC_ALL=fr_FR does also work.
It is a FAQ:
Java Internationalization FAQ
Why can't I use all European characters on Solaris?

So "env LANG=fr_FR ant war" produces a war file without altering the
encoding of the file. Also, adding "LANG=fr_FR; export
LANG" at the beginning of the script that starts tomcat enables the
proper display of accented characters in the Grouper Lite UI.
Curiously, setting the corresponding properties on the command line
arguments of java ( -Duser.language=fr
-Duser.variant=FR ) does not enable the display of accented characters
(I haven't tried to find out more).

This leaves the question:
- What does the Admin UI do that the Lite UI doesn't that enables the
correct display of accented characters even when the language locale
is not set in the environment.
This probably should be done for the Lite UI as well: setting a global
environement variable is only a workaround and might affect other
applications in the same tomcat.

Here are some answers to your questions:

On 29.01.2010 07:36, Chris Hyzer wrote:
> That's not good...
> The problem is most things are done in Ajax, so setting the content
> type isn't that simple (unless someone has a suggestion :) ). I
> have been experimenting and haven't found something that works yet.
> You can try these two tweaks below,

I tried without success: the question marks were there before those
character encoding specification are considered.

> but please let me know exactly where you are having the problem, is
> it in the static content from the, is it in the data
> (e.g. group names), is it in the DHTML controls (the combobox or
> menu), etc
> ...

It occurs at least with data from the Grouper DB or from the directory and
with static content in It also occurs when exporting a
group to a CSV file.

> Btw, my understanding is that we do want UTF-8, right?

Well, the admin UI has iso8859-1 character encoding configured in a
few places, so I kept iso8859-1.
Also LANG=fr_FR is associated to iso8859-1.

Thanks again for your answer!

Mr Dominique Petitpierre, Dominique.Petitpierre(at)
Division Informatique, University of Geneva, Switzerland

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