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Support for UTF-8 encoding

From: Markus Kuhn
Subject: Support for UTF-8 encoding
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 18:13:54 +0000

Dear ap2s gurus,

As you might have heard, starting with Release 8, Red Hat Linux now uses
by default UTF-8 locales (as opposed to previously ISO 8859 locales).

This now already works reasonably well, especially since the latest
versions of emacs, bash, perl, tcl, and many other tools and GUIs have
over the past 24 months been made UTF-8 aware by their developers.

However there are still a few applications that fall on the nose badly
as the world moves from ISO 8859 to ISO 10646/UTF-8, and unfortunately
a2ps is now probabaly the most prominent of these.

Have you already found time to look at this? At least support for those
Unicode characters that a2ps can already print today from other
encodings should not be too difficult to add.

You could even simplify things by making UTF-8 the only encoding
supported by a2ps, because today it is trivial to pipe files through
iconv first to convert any encoding to UTF-8, and therefore the
complexities of handling many different 8-bit encodings inside a2ps can
now be avoided.

I'd be interested to hear your perspective with regard to making a2ps
also UTF-8 aware.

Some related information:

Tutorial/FAQ on UTF-8 under Unix/Linux:


Test file for UTF-8 to PostScript converters covers roughly a Unicode
repertoire that can be fairly easily printed using standard PostScript


Trivial experimental example PostScript driver that shows how to build
more Unicode characters out of Postscript fonts (though I guess you have
with Ogonkify already a better approach), including demo printout:


Best regards,


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
Email: mkuhn at acm.org,  WWW: <http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/>

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