lucy24 - 11:04 pm on Nov 5, 2011 (gmt 0)
You forgot the third entity ;) £ The x means we are in hexadecimal rather than decimal encoding.
Named entities are an HTML 4 innovation. So to get a browser that couldn't recognize them you would probably have to have a browser that couldn't read HTML 4. Yes, there are rich conservative potential customers, but I think that's overdoing it :)
Interesting aside: My very oldest browser, MSIE 5.2 for Mac, will only display non-ASCII characters if they have HTML 4 named entities. You don't have to use the entity-- decimal or hexadecimal entities also work, as does the raw character if you change the encoding to UTF-8*-- but the character has to have an entity.
* That's another Very Old Browser issue: It can't read the "charset" declaration so you have to change the encoding manually. I don't know if there exist any newer browsers that lack this ability. I still include boilerplate about it in e-texts, and even on a few of my www pages that are specifically concerned with font display.