Published: Sat 15 May 2010
Have a look at the image below - a screenshot from a website I came
across. It's a quite clear, massive fail (unless you're fluent in
whatever font is used). This is something that can happen to any site,
if you're messing with I18N or L10N - something goes completely screwy.
However, it's also one of those things that - when using a professional
CMS - just should work without massive headaches or hidden traps. Typo3
wants be a professional CMS, so, following the logic, this shouldn't
happen (or the site author should have massive warning bells ringing).
What went wrong here? Well, several things. First off, the site uses
Typo3 to generate images containing text - and uses that for links. In
itself a horrible idea that's very bad for SEO but is used by Typo3 so
users can get "that special font". It wouldn't be so bad though if it
wasn't for the fact the there's either a mismatch between encoding
somewhere in the system or the font needed can't be found or used (I'm
assuming that the install hasn't been hacked and someone switched the
font used to wingdings). If the system had just been outputting text and
setting the wrong encoding then at least users would be able to manually
switch. As is, there's just no way of figuring out what the text is
supposed to be. Your best bet is looking at the html source and trying
to find out by looking at the link titles - not exactly what you want
users to do.
Now, to add an extra bit of irony to this: the site name is Typo3
Experts and they're hyping their Typo3 cookbook. Would you buy it after
seeing this site?
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