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Harmonica, LLC

Harmonica, LLC, based in Brooklyn, NY, uses decades of experience in technology, journalism and product development to help organizations manage content and create compelling products from it. Harmonica's philosophy is that of its namesake instrument: simplicity, portability and flexibility.

You can read more about our services, or contact Harmonica for more information.

Practice Safe Text, Part II: Yes, You Need To Know This Technical Stuff

(This is a continuation of yesterday's Text is Never ÅPlainÅ)

Why should you, the product manager, or editor, or designer, care about things like text encoding? For the simple fact that it can ruin your life. I can almost guarantee that your web site and CMS are full of frightening assumptions about text files. You know when you'll find them? When you decide it's time to present your site in another language, or you start getting content in other languages, or even English content from people using computers in other countries.

Text is Never ÅPlainÅ (Practice Safe Text, Part I)

I started a version of this post about a year and a half ago, when users of a CMS tool I'd written noticed strange characters in their documents. Quotation marks were showing up as foreign letters. The legal section symbol (§) was showing up as the degree sign (°).

You've probably seen this problem yourself in email or when copying and pasting web content. The text looked fine to the person who gave it to you, but to you, it looks like garbage. Why? As one of the clients using my application asked, "It's just plain text! What's the problem?"

Attention Harmonica Players!

Yes, this is a content-management consulting web site, not a site for harmonica players. Sorry about that. But, you can have your own email address, for free. That's right. Just drop us a line and we can set up an address that will forward to your own email address. It's the ultimate free-reed vanity plate so get yours now.

We also offer mailboxes and web page hosting at reasonable rates. Contact us for details.