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[Slightly OT] UTF-8 support in *nix terminals (Was: Re: Syntactic differences within parts of speech)

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Friday, September 1, 2006, 22:01
On Fri, Sep 01, 2006 at 05:16:53PM -0400, Henrik Theiling wrote:
> Hmm, my normal news reader does not support UTF-8 via the xterm terminal > I am currently using, so I will try the web form to post this: > > '買い取る' > ka i to ru > > The first Kanji is the same as in <kau> '買う' and '取る' > is 'to take'.
[...] I'm pleasantly surprised that I'm actually reading those characters in my console-based emailer (mutt). I've recently found a good Unicode bitmap font for X11, and finally made the switch from xterm to rxvt-unicode, and switched my default locale to UTF-8. And ever since, I've been pleasantly surprised, on more than one occasion. If you're running Linux, I highly recommend installing efont, rxvt-unicode (or uxterm), and setting your locale to UTF-8 (e.g. en.UTF-8 or de.UTF-8). Surprisingly many console apps can display UTF-8 correctly if the locale is set right (including most, if not all, of the system utilities). *Inputting* UTF-8, of course, is a different story, but at least you can read the stuff. (I personally prefer rxvt-unicode over uxterm because you can specify multiple fonts in rxvt, and it chooses the first that contains a particular symbol. This is useful for selecting language fonts in order of preference, instead of having to live with ugly glyphs from the one and only font that actually covers a significant portion of Unicode.) A funny sidenote: after my recent switch to UTF-8, I started actually seeing Cyrillic characters in mail, and had a strange paradoxical feeling of simultaneous indignance and joy one day when I received a Russian spam mail and actually could read and understand what it said. :-) (It used to only show up as a bunch of ???'s because I was on the us-ascii locale which didn't have cyrillic characters.) <ObConlang> Speaking of fonts, has anyone experimented with purely vertical writing systems? (I.e., one where you simply *cannot* write horizontally without severely crippling the system.) Even better, has anyone gotten vertical writing to actually *work* in an application, say your browser? The reason I ask is 'cos I was doodling with a prospective Tatari Faran font some time ago, and actually made a Truetype font for it, only to feel rather unhappy with it a little later, and junking the whole thing. I decided instead to go with a completely vertical system. In this new system, the glyphs stack on each other and resembles decorations of a pillar (or a totem-pole-like thing), and there are left- and right-diacritics. (Laevocritics? Gauchocritics? I tried looking for the appropriate Greek root since -critic comes from Greek, but came up with 'aristocritic', which just sounds too lame.) </ObConlang> T -- Life is too short to run proprietary software. -- Bdale Garbee


Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Remi Villatel <maxilys@...>Vertical script (was: UTF-8 support in *nix terminals)