(character) Conversion error (in vi) ?

Yuri Pankov ypankov at fastmail.com
Sun May 17 00:01:58 UTC 2020

Ronald F. Guilmette wrote:
> In message <06696e14-e7e5-f212-4ef0-b89e7e78cde5 at fastmail.com>,
> Yuri Pankov <ypankov at fastmail.com> wrote:
>> I'm interested in more details on this as I could be somewhat involved
>> (see PR 202290).  What release did you upgrade from/to?  Could you
>> provide a simple test case that shows the issue?
> Yuri,
> I've just read PR 202290 and I have added to it a one line attachment
> which is a test case that demonstrates the issue/problem I have been
> experiencing, which sounds like it is most probably the same issue
> as in PR 202290.  (But I would like your opinion on that.)
> The test case is just a From: line from am email sent to me by a
> european correspondant of mine.  (Note that I use NHM as a mail
> client, and that it in turn invokes vi to edit new outbound
> messages and replies, which is where I frequently encounter this
> issue/problem.)
> I'm too embarassed to tell you what versions of FreeBSD I last did
> an upgrade from.  Let's just say that it was certifiably ancient.
> My last full upgrade was to 12.0-RELEASE and that date on my local
> vi is as follows:
> -r-xr-xr-x  6 root  wheel  461872 Dec  6  2018 /usr/bin/vi
> I guess that I simply need to upgrade that in order to get your
> fix for this issue (?)
> (Yes, I tend to be altogether too lax in keeping this particular
> system upgraded.)

No, it's not that bug after all.  The issue is that (n)vi now (for quite 
some time :-) defaults to UTF-8 when it can't reliably detect the file 
encoding, so you'll just have to help it a bit adding the following to 

set fileencoding=iso8859-1

This way (n)vi will check if file encoding looks like UTF-8, and if not, 
it will use ISO8859-1 as fallback.

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