Today I received a bug report that the name of a German colleague, Haunß, is not displayed consistently on one of the webpages.
In one part of the page, his name is displayed correctly – Haunß, and a bit more down his name has two SS-es instead of the ß umlaut – Haunß.
If you’re frequently dealing with code written by others, you may have learned that the reverse engineer, step by step bug hunt may take a lot of time and you’d be very tempted to chop at the base – Chuck Norris style.
Fortunately, Firebug saved me this time by displaying the correct name in the HTML tab. This ringed a bell that there’s something wrong with the browser’s rendering of the character.
Apparently, up until recently the German ß character did not have an capital representation because it never appears at the beginning of a word. So the convention was to write two SS-es instead.
Here’s what happens:
Haunß, <span style="text-transform:uppercase">Haunß</span>
Output: Haunß, Haunß
If it were not for Firebug to show me the real data behind the scenes, I would have looked if the data source is the same for both places where the name is displayed, or the jQuote templating engine inner workings.
In the end I had to close the issue with one of my favorite quotes: “It’s not a bug, it’s a featutre.”