Netscape - squares instead of characters

Ok, this is kind of a bizarre problem I’ve been having…

On some pages, with Netscape Navigator, instead of text on the screen I’ll see a bunch of squares. It’s not a one-for-one replacement, though. Obviously with the squares the text is totally unreadable, although the squares have the same coloring as the text they replace. Sometimes it happens on certain web pages, sometimes it happens on almost all pages. If I reload the page, sometimes the problem goes away and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it gets really bad to the point where I need to restart the browser - this usually fixes the problem (although not with the page mentioned below). I have no such problem with IE. In addition, this happens on more than one machine - on my NT machine at work and on my Win 2K machine at home (I believe it may also have happened on my Win ME machine). I recently reinstalled the latest version of Netscape 4.7 on my NT machine, which did not fix the problem (in fact, it may have not even have happened until I reinstalled - I don’t remember).

Here’s an example of a page that usually gives the problem - on my machine, the drop-down box for Forum will look fine until I click on the arrow, then it’s all squares. In addition, if I position another window on top of that window, when I bring the other window back to the top, all the characters are changed to squares, but only the ones that were covered by the other window.

Anyone ever see anything like this?

The pages that you are browsing are being encoding by Netscape in a foreign alphabet. To fix it go to :

View > Encoding > then select “Western (IS0-8859-1)”

That should change the squares to letters.

“being encoded”, not “being encoding”

Well, I see the same thing on that page you linked (on NS 4.76 on Win2000), so you’re not insane.

I think it’s pretty clear that’s a Netscape bug. The way the letters just change to boxes when you scroll is not something that would ever be designed that way. The only question is what triggers it.

It could have something to do with the web server specifying the character set for the linked page as UTF-8 (Unicode). That’s rather unusual. Most web servers give the charset as iso-8859-1 (or they don’t bother giving it at all). The way to see the charset is to go into Page Info (CTRL-I), and it’s in the bottom frame, second from last. If it’s UTF-8 on the other pages this happens on, I’d blame that.

And remember, there’s really no chance the bug will actually get fixed. Netscape has practically given up on the 4.x version of the browser. They’ll only care if the problem happens on Netscape 6.

Yet another reason that Microsoft creates the best software.

<<smiles smugly>>

Infopop’s OpenTopic software was designed to use UTF-8 encoding. Unfortunately, Netscape 4.x has a problem with UTF-8. Netscape 6 handles UTF-8 just fine, by the way. If you keep reloading the page in question until the text in the box changes to Arial (at least it’s Arial on my box), then the page will work fine. If you see Times New Roman (again, that’s how it shows on my box), then you’re going to see squares. Now why can’t everyone just use vBulletin? :slight_smile:

Squares instead of characters?
Sounds like some people I know. :smiley: