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Re: bash readline bugs in UTF-8 mode

From: Markus Kuhn
Subject: Re: bash readline bugs in UTF-8 mode
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2001 15:00:35 +0100 (BST)

On Sat, 15 Sep 2001, Christoph Singer wrote:
> [LANG=de_DE.UTF-8]
> In xterm and the KDE Konsole, I still have some problems with the
> Backspace and arrow keys. When trying to delete a character or moving
> backwards and forwards in a string on the command line with the arrow
> keys, obviously only one byte is deleted or moved and not the whole
> character (if it is a non-ascii character). This is very confusing and
> often produces errors when working on the command line - how this can be
> fixed?

The problem is that bash and readline still don't support UTF-8 locales.
These programs fail because they unfortunately still assume 1 byte =
1 character. I'd like to beg the maintainers to look into integrating
UTF-8 support into the main release of bash and readline soon.

With the now very rapidly increasing use of UTF-8, bash and readline have
become the primary reasons for UTF-8 problem reports. I hope, UTF-8
support can be placed as the highest-priority item on the readline and
bash TODO list.

Some simple form of UTF-8 support for bash is available in form of the
patches listed on



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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