Unicode-based FreeBSD

Tz-Huan Huang tzhuan at csie.org
Tue Aug 26 02:04:39 UTC 2008


> Tz-Huan,
> Working with Chinese text is the hard part of my solution (described in full
> in freebsd-current at freebsd.org). In brief it's about moving FreeBSD to UTF-8
> completely and making syscons map UTF-8 to selected 8-bit charset for
> displaying (a failsafe solution). It seems that this makes syscons somewhat
> more usable for some people, but not for from East Asia, am I right?


> I was thinking of how to make working with Chinese filenames possible under
> syscons, but the help of a native speaker/writer would help much, because I
> know only basic facts about that matter.
> I see two alternatives of displaying unicode code points that do not fit
> into selected 8-bit display charset:
> 1) Substituting with some character, like '?'. This is very affordable
> solutiuon, but makes inconvenient working with files having names that do
> not fit into selected charset.
> 2) Substituting with encoded code point value like "#1234;". This is more
> complex solutuon, if correct baskspacing and things like that are required.
> I am not ready to implement it.

IMHO, both solutions are interesting but they might be not so useful for
Chinese users.

The current syscons will display the Chinese filename byte by byte,
so a Chinese character will be displayed as a sequence of 8-bit ASCII
characters. When I see that I just know ``oh, that's a file with
Chinese filename'',
I don't want to recognize which characters it is because there are thousands
of different Chinese characters. In this case, if I see ``???'' or
I still cannot recognize the characters if I have no other computer with desktop
environment like X or MS Windows. So, whether the Chinese character is
displayed as a sequence of 8-bit ASCII, as '?' or as '#xxxx', they are all
probably the same for me.

> In any case, it would be  nice to have some "magic" implemented: if copying
> a text with substitued code points and then pasting it would case the
> original UTF-8 sequence to be inserted.

Yes it's nice, but I think the chance to copy/paste the text of a Chinese
filename in syscons is less. The feature might be not easy to implement and
you might waste too many time to implement a feature that is used in very less

Of course that's my case, this feature might be very useful for others or
other language. :-)


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