"Unprintable" 8-bit characters

Polytropon freebsd at edvax.de
Wed Nov 9 02:19:58 UTC 2011

On Tue, 8 Nov 2011 19:58:04 -0600, Conrad J. Sabatier wrote:
> So, what would be the safest bet as far as the most "universal"
> representation for these characters?  Something I've long wondered
> about when I've e-mailed people and copied/pasted these characters (are
> they really seeing what I'm seeing?).  :-)

With lots of experience in "how not to do it", I would
like to suggest the following: Use US-ASCII letters only.
This makes _sure_ they will display correctly everywhere
and even on ultra-worst conditions (e. g. you are at a
real serial console, a real DEC vt100).

Filenames like kloesze_mit_muesli_foerdern_baerenhunger.mp3
can be processed by _any_ ls or mailer program. There is
no need to worry about... hmmm... do they have the same
character settings that I use? Do they have a font installed
that can show the file names properly?

Rules: Substitute umlauts properly (*e). Substitute ß
to sz ("teletype convention"). Remove accents or other
marks completely, as well as "strokes through characters"
or similar typographical specialities. If you can, use
lowercase only. No spaces, use _ instead. Avoid any other
special characters. Make everything plain ASCII, and you
can _still_ easily get the meaning.

The file system ITSELF doesn't care for the meaning of
the characters. SAVING them and DISPLAYING them are two
fully different things. Nobody stops you from making
filenames like öÜÖß߀Łµ³¼`łøæſđ̣ĸ»¢.mp3, but they can
cause trouble you can't predict. You _never_ know...

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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