Unicode-based FreeBSD

Garrett Cooper yanefbsd at gmail.com
Sat Aug 23 12:31:38 UTC 2008

On Sat, Aug 23, 2008 at 5:02 AM, Alexander Churanov
<alexanderchuranov at gmail.com> wrote:
> Erik,
> 2008/8/23, Erik Trulsson <ertr1013 at student.uu.se>:
>> There are many applications that do not yet support UTF-8.
>> It would be bad if applications that just output 8-bit characters "as-is"
>> were broken.
>> If an application were to output characters from (e.g.) ISO-8859-1 and
>> syscons were to interpret them as UTF-8 it would not be pretty.
>> I suspect it would actually break many current applications.
> I agree that the proposed solution will have no effect on pure ASCII
> applications and would break apps that generate high bit characters of 8-bit
> encodings. My ideas on that are:
> 1) I mostly use FreeBSD in character mode with pure ASCII applications. For
> web browsing, writing e-mails and similar tasks I use X-based applications
> that have their own charset handling.
> 2) Adding the ability to map from an arbitrary 8-bit encoding (i.e. just
> keep the current features) is not hard.
> 3) Fixing the subset of applications that work in character mode and
> actually generate 8-bit characters is doable.
> Please note, that UTF-8 was specially designed for full interoperability
> with ASCII and partial with 8-bit encodings. For example, if we have an
> application that just performs a search for string of bytes in its input, it
> will work equally well if given iso-latin1 text and if given UTF-8 text.
> The real-life example is vi. Once I realized that kdm reads full user name
> as UTF-8 and that my FreeBSD is using koi8-r, I just took konsole, switched
> it to UTF-8, started vi and edited /etc/passwd as if it was UTF-8 (it
> actually was pure ASCII). And after that I am able to see correct russian
> names of users on my home PC in kdm window.
> So if someone thinks that many apps would be broken, let's name a few and I
> will test them using konsole and UTF-8.
> And again, how to check out the source, what is correct branch/tag? Should I
> check out from CVS or svn? To my mind, if I modify source code locally this
> certainly would not break applications on other FreeBSDs in the world. :-)

You want a separate project branch in perforce space (CVS/SVN is
reserved for committers -- Perforce is reserved for folks contributing
to FreeBSD without commit access).

I'd make a good case to the perforce-admins@ for why you should have this.

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