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Re: quotation marks [was Re: TUTORIAL.de updated]

From: David De La Harpe Golden
Subject: Re: quotation marks [was Re: TUTORIAL.de updated]
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2012 03:27:22 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:8.0) Gecko/20120104 Icedove/8.0

On 21/01/12 12:52, Andreas Schwab wrote:
Eli Zaretskii<address@hidden>  writes:

Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2012 11:12:38 +0000
Cc: address@hidden, address@hidden, address@hidden,
From: Alan Mackenzie<address@hidden>

I have an ordinary Linux tty, currently running a Latin-1 character set.

Is it possible to run it with the UTF-8 character set?  AFAIU, this
will solve all your problems, while still being compatible with Latin-1.

A console font cannot contain more than 512 characters.


To expand a little, as, while that's true, that doesn't mean there's
no way to do it on an X-less system:

True text-mode (i.e. PC VGA gfx card) linux kernel VTs inherit that hardware limitation (256 glyphs with 16 colors or 512 glyphs with 8 colors) [1] that the kernel can do relatively little about. You can work in unicode (see console-tools docs) ...but you can only set up a font showing a small subset of glyphs at a time. The kernel VTs when on a framebuffer have some fairly similar limits IIRC, despite there not being a hardware reason in that case (lack of demand, compat, shared code, and keeping things simple spring to mind as possible non-hardware reasons, of course).

... However, there is nowadays a way around the limitation (presumably further reducing demand for any more advanced kernel support):

Use the userspace “fbterm” [2][3] terminal emulator instead of the linux kernel's more limited built-in. It is essentially a unicode-capable terminal emulator like those commonplace on X11 - but one that targets the framebuffer (and also now vesa modesetting, like (or perhaps using) old libsvga) rather than X11.

Though I currently use X11, so have little reason to use fbterm normally, I've just fairly successfully viewed the Hello file (and some curly quotes) in an emacs running under

“fbterm -n "DejaVu Sans Mono" -s 32 --vesa-mode=374“

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VGA_compatible_text_mode#Fonts
[2] http://code.google.com/p/fbterm/
[3] http://packages.debian.org/sid/fbterm

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