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Re: unicode in emacs 21

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: unicode in emacs 21
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 19:11:30 +0200 (IST)

On Thu, 25 Oct 2001, Oliver Doepner wrote:

> my question: what happened in this area in Emacs 21 ??

What happened is that Emacs now supports Unicode characters that 
basically span the BMP with the exception of CJK ideographic characters.
It also has some initial support for UTF-8.

> Is the internal
> representation still the special MULE format ??~

Yes.  But the internal representation is not the problem here; ideally, 
users and Lisp programs shouldn't be worrying about how characters are 
represented internally.  The problem is that characters are still not 
unified in Emacs 21.  So we have two versions of Cyrillic characters, two 
versions of Greek characters, two versions of Hebrew characters, etc.: 
one version in the new Unicode set, the other version in the old Mule 
set.  And Emacs thinks these are different characters, so if you mix 
them without converting them, you are in trouble.

> And are there any plans and/or activities to achieve these things ?

Oh, we have plenty of plans!  The problem is with volunteers who would 
step forward and actually produce some code that implements those plans.

It might come as a surprise to some that the decision to change the 
internal representation of characters to something that is based on 
Unicode and that unifies the characters--that decision was made several 
years ago (beginning of 1998, to be exact).  At that time, discussions 
were held which produced a detailed design of the new representation.  
What remains is for few motivated individuals to sit down and code the 
darn thing.  Which is where we are today, more than 3 years later.

Lately, the emacs-unicode mailing list was revived, in the hope that it 
will boost the activity.  Sadly, the traffic on that list is nil.

What can I say except ``volunteers are welcome...'' etc.?  I can't 
believe no one wants Unicode badly enough to work on its support in 
Emacs, but what do I do with facts which fly in my face?

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