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Re: [h-e-w] Displaying Latin characters

From: John J. Xenakis
Subject: Re: [h-e-w] Displaying Latin characters
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 16:14:06 -0500

Dear Eli,

>   What encoding was that file in originally?  What does Emacs
>   display in the left edge of the mode line?


>   More accurately, something weird is going on for _your_ existing
>   files.  I suspect that, being edited by CodeWright, they, too,
>   include random 8-bit bytes that don't fir with any known encoding,
>   or at least not with encodings Emacs tries in your environment.

No, CodeWright does not insert any additional bytes, as I've verified
with a hex dump of the file.  It's a Windows 3.1 editor from 1994. 
It's just a simple ascii editor.

>   Your conclusion is wrong, so you are asking a wrong question, for
>   which there's no answer.
>   Let me begin by asking you what codepage was used (by CodeWright,
>   I presume) for characters whose 8th bit is set, i.e. for
>   characters whose codes are above 127 decimal?  If it was codepage
>   850, you could try "C-x RET c cp850 RET C-x C-f" to visit the file
>   and tell Emacs to decode it as codepage 850.  Or maybe you should
>   try codepage 437. (All these are guesses; if you tell me in what
>   locale you set up your machine, I may guess better.)

This helps.  I tried using "windows-1252" as the codepage and it gave
the result that I wanted.

Any suggestions for the best macro/form to make that the default?



P.S.: If anyone wants to experiment with this problem, here's
some typical standard text from internet news stories:

>   Under Deng Xiaoping’s leadership, China had been opening up. The
>   country’s unspoken support for the US had spurred the collapse of
>   the Soviet Union. “China and the US had been sharing both
>   geopolitical and military secrets,” recalls Gao Zhikai, Deng’s
>   former translator. “Because of that co-operation, China was
>   following a US line.” The US had even been selling China weapons,
>   both Sikorsky helicopters and guidance systems for jet aircraft.

>   Four months into a crusade against Internet pornography, the
>   government is closing thousands of sites—some pornographic, some
>   not—and tightening rules on who can register Web addresses inside
>   China.

>   View Full Image China Internet Agence France-Presse -- Customers
>   surf the Web at an Internet café in Wuhu, central China, in a
>   photo taken in February. A backlash against Beijing's moves to
>   block access to the Internet has spurred attempts by many users to
>   'scale' the so-called Great Firewall of censorship. China Internet
>   China Internet

The above is typical news story text, containing several 8-bit ascii
characters, including curly-quotes, m-dashes and e-acute. (“”’—é)

It displays correctly with the windows-1252 encoding.

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