Unicode-based FreeBSD

Garrett Cooper yanefbsd at gmail.com
Sat Aug 23 12:32:58 UTC 2008

On Sat, Aug 23, 2008 at 5:31 AM, Garrett Cooper <yanefbsd at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.
> Cheers,
> -Garrett

Scratch the statement "Perforce is reserved for folks contributing
to FreeBSD without commit access". There are many committers using
Perforce for large projects and interoperability between mainline and
other Perforce projects.


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