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  • Q1. 
    Why do some government online services refuse to accept certain Chinese characters that I had input using Microsoft Windows 7 or Vista, whereas the same Chinese characters were accepted when I inputted them via Microsoft Windows XP?

    This is because Microsoft Windows 7 or Vista have adopted new character coding standards, namely 'ISO/IEC 10646:2003' and 'HKSCS-2004', which differ from the standards currently adopted by the HKSAR Government, namely 'ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000' and 'HKSCS-2001'. Take the character '   ' as an example, Microsoft Windows 7 or Vista will return the code point '20779' (which is incompatible with HKSCS-2001) whereas Microsoft Windows XP will return the code point 'EB78' (which is compatible with HKSCS-2001).

  • Q2. 
    Why doesn't the HKSAR Government adopt the latest standards which have been adopted by Microsoft Windows 7 or Vista?

    Before adopting a new standard, the Government must first assess its acceptability by the market, and ensure the majority of computer users in Hong Kong can process the information when they receive information coded in accordance with the new standard. Since the number of characters incorporated into the new standard has increased substantially, existing computer users may need to upgrade some software or even hardware before they can adopt the new standard. This process will take time.

  • Q3. 
    Apart from Microsoft Windows 7 or Vista, do other operating systems have similar compatibility problems in text handling?

    Mac OS X and Linux (for example, Mac OS X 10.4, Red Hat Linux 5, Fedora 7) also have similar problems.

  • Q4. 
    Why do computer systems need to adopt standards in the handling of text? Which standard is being adopted by the HKSAR Government?

    While people recognise a character by its appearance, computers recognise a character by its code point. For example the code point '0041' represents 'A', the code point '7532' represents the Chinese character '甲'. In order to minimise the distortion of information in electronic communication, all related computers must adopt specific standards in the handling of text. Such standards specify the scope of characters that computers need to handle, as well as the code point of individual characters. At present, the standards adopted by the HKSAR Government are 'ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000' and 'HKSCS-2001'.

  • Q5. 
    Why do character coding standards have different versions?

    In the early days of Chinese computing, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) incorporated frequently used Chinese characters into an international coding standard called ISO 10646. Subsequently, the ISO has added other characters and revised the standard to suit the needs of various parties. The versions published so far include 'ISO/IEC 10646-1:1993', 'ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000' and 'ISO/IEC 10646:2003'. Please refer to the following link for more information on the ISO 10646 standard:

     

  • Q6. 
    Why do we need Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set (HKSCS) when we already have ISO 10646 ?

    The Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set (HKSCS) contains special Chinesecharacters commonly used in Hong Kong and required by the Government and the public in electronic communication, such as the character ' 埗 'as in ' 深水埗 ', and the character ' 鰂 ' as in ' 鰂魚涌 '. HKSCS also has different versions. Please refer to the following link for more information on the HKSCS standard:

  • Q7. 
    Do I have to install the Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set (HKSCS) to use GovHK online services?

    The HKSCS will only be required if you need to input the special Chinese characters that it contains.

  • Q8. 
    What should I pay attention to when using GovHK online services?

    There are some points you should note when using GovHK online services:

    • You should never enter the same online service from more than one window because it will interrupt the normal application flow.
    • If you would like to terminate an online service you are using, be sure to exit the online service properly by clicking on the appropriate 'Exit' button. Otherwise, the GovHK server will continue to process your transaction according to the last command received.

     

  • Q9. 
    Where can I find assistance when using GovHK online services?

    If you have questions while using a GovHK online service, you can contact the Help Desk of the service as indicated in the left-most column of the page you are on.

  • Q10. 
    Why can't I use certain browser or operating system combinations to access some GovHK online services?

    The webpages on the GovHK portal are viewable on browsers running on most commonly used operating systems, including Windows (XP, Vista, 7), Linux, and MacOS. Users should in general have no problem surfing the GovHK portal.

    Some of the GovHK online services require the use of digital certificates. To ensure high security and smooth completion of the authentication process, these online services must be tested against and customised for specific versions of operating systems and browsers. As in general, significant resources are required for testing GovHK online services, it is not practicable to test all online services against all known browser and operating system combinations. We have taken a pragmatic approach by putting our priority on testing the most popular browser and operating system combinations. These combinations are listed at System Requirements for GovHK Online Serviceshttp://www.gov.hk/en/about/helpdesk/softwarerequirement/onlineservice.htm. In addition to the above combinations, you can also use other browsers to access most GovHK online services that do not require user authentication.

    Besides, some GovHK online services may have specific operating system and browser requirements other than those listed at System Requirements for GovHK Online Serviceshttp://www.gov.hk/en/about/helpdesk/softwarerequirement/onlineservice.htm to ensure that the services operate smoothly.  In such cases, the corresponding requirements are stated along those online services.

  • Q11. 
    I have already installed Java on my computer but I still cannot use an online service. The online service displays an error message saying that Java is not enabled. Why does this happen and what should I do?

    When you access an online service, the online service would try to determine the version of Java software running on your computer to ensure that it meets the basic requirements for using the service. Even though you have installed Java on your computer, there are a number of possible reasons that Java may not work correctly:

    1. The network connection is too slow. In this case, you should be able to access the online service by retrying later.
    2. The version of Java on your computer is too old. Please refer to System Requirements for GovHK Online Serviceshttp://www.gov.hk/en/about/helpdesk/softwarerequirement/onlineservice.htm to download and install the required version.
    3. Java 7 or above is required if you are using Firefox 3.6.
    4. Your browser is configured to disable Java. Please refer to Note (a) below to enable Java for your browser.
    5. Sometimes, temporary files left in your computer might cause problems in using Java. Please refer to Note (b) below and clear the Java cache.
    6. Java was not installed properly on your computer to work with the browser. Please note that if you have Java installed on your computer, it is possible that Java may work with one particular browser but not the other. Please refer to Note (c) below to check if Java is working properly with the browser you are using. If Java is not working, please refer to Note (d) below to re-install Java.
    7. Sometimes, re-installing Java may not solve your problem and you may also need to re-install your browser. For Firefox users, please refer to Note (e) below.
    8. Some personal firewall software or browser add-ons may block the use of Java. Examples include Zonealarm, Norton Internet Security, NoScript and Adblock extension for Firefox. Please check the setting of such software to allow Java to execute.
    9. For some versions of Safari before version 5.1.4, if your browser is configured to connect to the Internet via network proxy (please refer to Note (f) below to check your browser configuration), you may need to upgrade your browser to newer versions or configure proxy settings for Java as well (please refer to Note (g) below).
    10. Microsoft Windows 8 does not support plug-ins (including Java) in the “Start Screen” mode. Please switch to the “Desktop”mode of Windows 8 to allow Java to execute.  The "Start Screen" mode under Windows 8 can be switched to "Desktop" mode by clicking "Desktop" or pressing "Windows logo key + D".

          Windows 8

    More details are available from the official website of Java about “Troubleshooting tips for using Java on Windows 8http://www.java.com/en/download/faq/win8_faq.xml”.

    Notes:

    (a) Configure your browser to enable Java

              Internet Explorer (IE)

    (1)   From the menu bar, select "Tools" > "Internet Options".
    (2)   If you are using IE9, please go to step 4. Otherwise, select the "Advanced" tab and scroll down to "Java (Sun)" or "Java (Oracle)".
    (3)   Put a tick in the checkbox next to "Java {version number} for <applet>”.
    (4)   Select the "Security" tab, and click the "Custom Level" button.
    (5)   Scroll down to "Scripting of Java applets".
    (6)   Make sure the "Enable" radio button is selected.
    (7)   Click "OK" to save the changes.
    (8)   If you are using Windows 7, Vista, XP SP2 or later, please also follow steps 9 to 12 below.
    (9)   In IE6 / IE7, select the "Programs" tab, and click the " Manage Add-ons..." button. In IE8/IE9, from the menu bar, select “Tools” > “ Manage Add-ons”.
    (10) Select “Java Plug-in {version number}” from the list. If the status of the Java Plug-in is shown as “Disabled”, change it to "Enabled".
    (11) For IE6 / IE7, a dialog box will be displayed to remind user to restart Internet Explorer. Click “OK” to close the dialog box, then click "OK" again to save the changes.
    (12) Restart Internet Explorer for the changes to take effect.

          Mozilla Firefox 3.5

          (1)  From the menu bar, select "Tools" > "Option".
          (2)  Click the "Content" category.
          (3)  Put a tick in the checkbox next to "Enable Java".
          (4)  Click "OK" to save the change.

    Mozilla Firefox 3.6 to 11

    (1)  From the menu bar, select "Tools" > "Add-ons".
    (2)  Click the "Plugins" category.
    (3)  Make sure that "Java(TM) Platform SE {x} U{xx}" is enabled.  If it is dimmed out (disabled), click the “Enable” button”. Firefox would automatically disable Java versions that are known to have security vulnerabilities.  In such case, you have to install the latest version of Java.


    (b) Clear the Java cache

    Close all browsers and check if Java is still running. If a Java icon is shown in the system tray as shown below, please reboot your computer to make sure that no Java software is running.

    Please follow the steps below to clear the Java cache from your computer.

    If you are using Windows 7, Vista or XP
    (1) Click "Start" > “Settings” > "Control Panel".
    (2) Double-click the Java icon to open the "Java Control Panel".
    (3) Select the "General" tab, click "Settings" button under "Temporary Internet Files".
    (4) Click the "Delete Files" button and then click "OK" to delete all files from the cache.
    (5) Click the "OK" button on the "Temporary Files Settings" window.

    If you are using Mac OS X (10.4 to 10.7)*
    (1) Open the Java folder from your hard drive: HD > Applications > Utilities > Java.
    (2) Open the "Java Preferences" application.
    (3) Select the "General" tab.
    (4) Click the "Delete Files" button under the "Temporary Internet Files" section and then click "OK" to delete all files from the cache.

    * For other versions, some of the dialog boxes and fields names will be slightly different from those shown in the above procedure.

    If you are using Linux
    (1)  Run the "Java Plug-In Control Panel" executable:
          "(Java installation directory)/bin/ControlPanel" or
          Load the "Control Panel" applet page with a web browser:
          "(Java installation directory)/ControlPanel.html".
    (2) Select the "General" tab.
    (3) Click the "Delete Files" button under the "Temporary Internet Files" section and then click "OK" to delete all files from the cache.

     

    (c) Check if Java is working for your browser

    Please click the following link –
    Test your Java versionhttp://www.java.com/en/download/help/testvm.xml

    If Java is working, the page will display an animation and the version of your Java software. If Java is not working, it will say “Java Runtime environment is not working on your system”.

     

    (d) Re-install Java

    Go to the page "System Requirements for GovHK Online Serviceshttp://www.gov.hk/en/about/helpdesk/softwarerequirement/onlineservice.htm" to check the required Java version and download Java by following the appropriate link. Close all browsers and perform the following steps:
     If you are using Windows 7, Vista or XP
    (1) Click "Start" > “Settings” > "Control Panel".
    (2) Double-click the "Add/Remove Program" icon in the control panel.
    (3) Select the Java software and click the "Remove" button. If you have multiple versions of Java software on your computer, repeat this step to remove them one by one.
    (4) Reboot your computer.
    (5) Re-install Java (preferably the latest Java 7 version)

    If you are using Mac OS

    Please visit http://developer.apple.com/java/http://developer.apple.com/java/ for reference and installation instructions.

    If you are using Linux

    Please visit http://java.com/en/download/manual.jsp#linhttp://java.com/en/download/manual.jsp#lin for reference and installation instructions

     

    (e) Re-install Firefox browser

    If your problem persists after going through all the above steps (including re-installing Java), you may need to re-install Firefox. For Windows 7, Vista or XP, re-installing Firefox would repair a Windows registry required for using Java.

    In some rare cases, it is possible that an old version of Java plugin is left in your Firefox installation directory and conflicts with the current version of Java. In such cases, you need to carry out a clean re-installation of Firefox. Please refer to the following page for instructions:
    Clean re-install of Firefoxhttp://support.mozilla.com/zh-TW/kb/Basic+Troubleshooting#Clean_reinstall

    For further Java related issues on Firefox, please refer to the following page:
    Java-related issueshttp://support.mozilla.com/zh-TW/kb/Java-related+issues

     

    (f) Check if proxy is set up in Safari

    Please follow the steps below to check about the proxy settings in Safari:
    (1) Open “Safari”.
    (2) Click “Safari” > “Preferences”.    
    (3) Select the “Advanced” Tab and click the “Change Settings” button.
    (4) Check whether “Web Proxy (HTTP)”, “Secure Proxy (HTTPS)” or other proxy options are configured.  If any one of the above options is configured, you are connected to the Internet via network proxy.

     

    (g) Upgrade Safari browser or configure proxy settings for Java

    For MAC OS X 10.6 to 10.7, please upgrade your Safari browser to version 5.1.4 or later.

    For Mac OS X 10.5 or earlier versions, Safari version 5.1.4 or later is not currently available.  Please follow the steps below to configure proxy settings for Java in Mac OS X.
    (1) Open “Finder”.
    (2) Click “Application” > “Utilities” > “Java Preferences”.
    (3) Select the “Network” Tab and click the “Network Settings…” button.
    (4) Select the “Use proxy server” option.
    (5) Please consult your network administrator or Internet server provider to obtain the proxy server information and apply appropriate settings.

     

     

  • Q12. 
    When I access an online service using Internet Explorer, I can see a notification bar saying that the Java is out-of-date and has been blocked. Why does this happen and what should I do?

    According to Microsoft’s Security Update for Internet Explorer, when you access an online service, the Internet Explorer will try to determine the version of Java software running on your computer to ensure that the most current version of the Java runtime significantly improves user security.

    As one of the Microsoft’s security measures to deliver a more secure browser, starting from 9 September 2014, Internet Explorer will block out-of-date Java.

    When Internet Explorer blocks an out-of-date Java, you will see, depending on the version of Internet Explorer, a notification bar similar to the following screen cap:

    IE notification bar

    (a) To get the updated Java:

     
    (1) From the notification bar, click “Update”.
    IE notification bar update
    (2) Internet Explorer opens the Oracle Java’s website.
    (3) Download the latest version of the control.

    For detailed steps, please refer to “How do I fix an outdated Active-X control or app?http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn761713.aspx” on Microsoft’s website.

    (b) However, if you trust the website you are about to access, you may override the prompt and allow this trusted website to run this out-of-date Java version:

     
    (1) From the notification bar, click “Run this time”.
    IE notification bar run this time
    (2) Internet Explorer gives you a security warning. From the dialogue box, click “Allow” to launch this out-of-date Java.
    IE notification bar allow
    (3) Otherwise, click “Don't allow” to terminate the use of an out-of-date Java version on your computer.
    IE notification bar don't allow

    More details are available from the official website of Internet Explorer on “Internet Explorer begins blocking out-of-date ActiveX controlshttp://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2014/08/06/internet-explorer-begins-blocking-out-of-date-activex-controls.aspx”.

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