[izpack-users] shortcutSpec.xml UTF-8 Byte Order Mark breaks IzPack operation

Hans-Georg Michna hans-georg at michna.com
Tue Oct 10 12:32:29 CEST 2006

Just stumbled over a grotesque problem that took me hours to

I had mistakenly declared the Win_shortcutSpec.xml file as
UTF-8, but actually stored it as ANSI code, i.e. it had no Byte
Order Mark (BOM).

For a long time I didn't notice my mistake, and everything
worked, particularly since the file did not contain any
characters that required UTF-8 multi-byte encoding, i.e. the
file was actually correct, except for the missing BOM.

Now I made a little change to the file and used an editor that
was clever enough to recognize the UTF-8 encoding and add the
missing BOM. From that moment IzPack no longer showed the
shortcut pane. Imagine my frantic searching, because I could not
see any error in the file or in any other. As I wrote, it took
me hours to find the inconspicuous and correct BOM and the fact
that its absence made IzPack work again.

We have a problem here. Even if we tell users that they should
use some other encoding, like ISO-8859-1, proper XML should be
encoded in UTF-8, and many editors, including Windows Notepad,
will add the BOM, rendering IzPack unworkable.

Could any of the developers delve into this and remove this
insidious stumbling block? It is no longer a problem for me, but
it will surely cause endless grief to others.

I'm actually surprised that this topic hasn't come up yet, or
has it?


No mail, please.

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