A far more painless unicode experience

Poor Ramp: When he had to localize our web sites and tools etc, he had to wrestle with Apache, Tomcat, Perl, MySQL 3.x, the billing system and an assortment of other tools to try and get everything talking UTF8.

I still use Roxen‘s webserver for our internal management tools and systems, and by-and-large it just does the right thing. All the fancy features that Apache/Tomcat have added in the last 4-5 years – like JSP Tags – basic stuff in Roxen, and very much matured.

And UTF-8? Almost totally a walk in the park, which was surprising given the Roxen server I was running has an uptime of 20 months and the install itself is actually 5 years old…

Async Ajax streaming

Well, fnar.


I got my web-based Mac client builder working after wrestling with Roxen and Apache to convince one of them to send raw output without waiting for the CGI script to finish (Apache needed my CGI script to explicitly output a “Content-Encoding: chunked” header of it’s own). I’ve got my little status <div> updating on the fly by using setInterval to periodically check for new lines of text added to ajax.responseText. And it works under Safari and Firefox.

Apparently, though, IE doesn’t populate responseText until readyState == 4 and status == 200; if you try to access it before then you get a javascript error saying “The data necessary to complete this operation is not yet available”. Oh, well, networking remains one of Microsoft’s weakest areas. Maybe they’ll get compatible in a future version of XMLHttpRequest / XMLHTTP.