Ampersands are like Unicode lite

.flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }
.flickr-yourcomment { }
.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }
.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; }

ampersand, originally uploaded by David Ascher.

Ampersands, as I’ve mentioned before, are really nice letters — they have a great typographical history, they’re wonderfully flexible creative outlets for font designers, and they’re quite useful to the writer.

However, they sure do get in the way of a lot of code, especially when it comes to HTML and XML toolchains. I’ve had problems with ampersands in titles of Flickr photos (fixed now AFAICT), and just now hit a problem when trying to export my Bloglines blogroll as an OPML file, as shown here (more correctly, Firefox’s well-formedness checker complained that the OPML file wasn’t valid XML).

I’m thinking that Sam should add an ampersand to his Iñtërnâtiônàlizætiøn hint, maybe that would help in the long run…

This post includes another common problem spot, a double-hyphen (one of my typographic tics), which routinely breaks XML processing streams. We’ll see how this one goes through…


  1. No plugins, just “send to blog” from Flickr. I’ll investigate to find out where the bug is. Thanks for the heads-up.


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