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Re: Disambiguate modeline character for UTF-8?

From: Ulrich Mueller
Subject: Re: Disambiguate modeline character for UTF-8?
Date: Wed, 05 Jul 2023 12:08:59 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.2 (gnu/linux)

>>>>> On Mon, 24 Aug 2020, Ulrich Mueller wrote:

>>>>> On Mon, 24 Aug 2020, Drew Adams wrote:
>> I'll just say this, as some have suggested that
>> one main thing they want is to be able to easily
>> and quickly tell whether the encoding is NOT
>> utf-8 (and not ASCII, presumably):

>> The characters "u" and "U" are not so easily
>> distinguished.  You might want to pick some
>> other, quite different looking, character for
>> the non-UTF-8 (i.e., UTF-16 etc.).

> Another idea: Since "-" is used for ASCII, maybe use "+" for UTF-8?
> This would be visually unobtrusive, so any uncommon coding system would
> stand out against it.

Coming back to this thread (which at the time ended in bikeshedding).
The goal I had in mind was to disambiguate UTF-8, i.e. a unique modeline
character would be used for it. Currently this is not the case:

   U -- utf-8*  (all variants)
   U -- utf-16* (all variants)
   U -- utf-7
   U -- koi8-u

So, I propose to change this to either:

   + -- utf-8*  (all variants)
   (everything else unchanged)


   U -- utf-8*  (all variants)
   u -- utf-16* (all variants)
   u -- utf-7
   K -- koi8-u

Note that "K" is also used for Korean. I think that's not a real
conflict, because normally it would be clear from context whether the
buffer's content is Korean or Ukrainian.

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