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Re: console translator set without encoding

From: Marcus Brinkmann
Subject: Re: console translator set without encoding
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2005 03:49:51 +0100
User-agent: Wanderlust/2.10.1 (Watching The Wheels) SEMI/1.14.6 (Maruoka) FLIM/1.14.6 (Marutamachi) APEL/10.6 Emacs/21.3 (i386-pc-linux-gnu) MULE/5.0 (SAKAKI)


Ok, so I am not the quickest to respond...

At Tue, 07 Sep 2004 12:39:06 +0200,
Patrick Strasser <patrick.strasser@tugraz.at> wrote:
> CC-ing bug-hurd
> Ognyan Kulev wrote:
> > Patrick Strasser wrote:
> > 
> >> Unicode did not work until i set it to
> >> /hurd/console --encoding=UTF-8
> >> via
> >> settrans /dev/vcs /hurd/console --encoding=UTF-8
> > 
> > 
> > I think this should be the default.  The change will be in MAKEDEV. Will 
> > you submit bug for the hurd package?
> Then should Unicode be default for the console? I have not printed out a 
> complete ASCII table on a UTF-8-console without Unicode fonts (anyone 
> knowing a tool for this?), but at a first glance output seemed to be 
> quite usefull without ISO8859-1 encoding.
> I'm not shure if this is a Debian issue. Why should Debian have  a 
> different default encoding?

Is a UTF-8 console the default on Debian GNU/Linux?  If not, why not?
You may consider thinking about this.

Also, setting the console to use UTF-8 encoding by default is _wrong_
if you don't also carefully set up (a) an UTF-8 font that is used by
default and (b) ensure that a UTF-8 locale is used by default, and (c)
ensure that all applications work within a UTF-8 locale by default, or
well, at least a reasonable subset.

I know that (a) is easy to do, (c) is probably still not complete, but
definitely there was progress within the last years (although I think
that there is still manual configuration required).  (b) requires
changing to the glibc package and/or locales package, and I think that
maybe you must make the locales package mandatory or so - I don't
really know what that entails.

Also, note that UTF-8 is _not_ the encoding of choice for a lot of
parts in the world.  Irregardless of what you think about it - the
western world doesn't need it (where ISO 8859-1 or 15 is enough), and
as far as I know even some asian and/or russian regions are happier
with their own funny regional multi-byte encodings for whatever

I don't think it is our responsibility to push this.  If Debian is
ready to make the change, we (Debian GNU/Hurd) can follow.  If not, we
shouldn't lose any sweat over this.  What is more important is to
properly document the issues involved, and Marco committed some old
text from me about this into the CVS tree to help with that.

Now, the only remaining question is what upstream should do, in this
case MAKEDEV.  I don't really see a strong point here.  This is a
system configuration issue, and Debian is a system configurator, so it
can do its job whatever the upstream MAKEDEV says, and the sysadmin
can override that.  If I were to build a GNU system, I would make
UTF-8 the default, but then I would also make all sure all
applications use that out of the box (actually, is emacs ready for
that?  I am unsure).


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