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Information.svg This page documents a technical problem across English Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.

If you are using Microsoft Windows XP SP1, there is a serious technical problem with the Unicode representation of Hebrew vowel signs (niqqud), affecting users editing Wikimedia projects when running this operating system version.

Upgrading to Windows XP SP2 or newer fixes this serious bug.

If you are running Windows XP SP1, to edit articles with niqqud, please upgrade to Windows XP SP2, Windows XP SP3, or a newer operating system (such as Microsoft Vista, Mac OS X, or Linux), as no solution has been found.

Checking version[edit]

To check the version of your operating system, right-click on "My Computer," select "Properties," and read off which Operating System and Service Pack it is running.

The problem[edit]

The problem is especially severe because it not only affects how the vowels are seen on the screen, but changes the actual Unicode coding of the Hebrew letters and vowels when submitted via the browser form. That is, after a text that has been correct in the past undergoes "save" or even "show preview," the coding is altered in a way that makes it nearly impossible to read.

Note that correctly coded texts from before the recent Wikimedia upgrade (preserved in the "History" of the page) retain the proper coding. But any attempt to revert to a version with the correct coding is automatically destroyed.

The problem was noted several times at the Hebrew Wikipedia, and the issue was discussed here (entirely in Hebrew). As a result, this page was created to make English Wikipedia users aware of the bug.


  1. On December 9, 2004, niqqud (a vowelized text) was added to Hebrew Wikisource.
  2. On June 7, 2005, a well-meaning user made a minor edit to that text. (He simply added a category tag.) But when he pressed "save," it created a new version of the entire text, as can be seen from the comparison in the link: The new version contained vowel changes in the majority of the text's words. This happened automatically, and is extraordinarily difficult to correct manually (even if the software allowed fixing it). (Unicode normalization considerations)

Status links[edit]

The following pages contain a running summary of the problem by the developers, and is the best place to present new developments or ask questions (in addition to the bug page).