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Re: coding-system perfectionism locks user out

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: coding-system perfectionism locks user out
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2002 13:52:06 +0200

On 10 Feb 2002, Dan Jacobson wrote:

> K> The byte sequence `\231' `G' is not what Emacs treats as
> K> Big5 code.  That's why Emacs doesn't detect that file as
> K> big5.
> OK, but does that mean emacs must be so strict to cause the file to be
> unable to be used with emacs until it is first purified of all its bad
> characters?

What alternative do you suggest?  Emacs cannot guess the encoding of
the file, so it doesn't attempt to decode it.

> This seems dangerous: this means for a big5 user, one corrupted
> character would cause an entire file to become unusable with emacs...

It's not unusable: you can kill the buffer and then visit the file
again from within the running Emacs session.

> Also if set-coding-systems is turned off in the menu, the user feels
> he is trapped with no choices on how to remedy the situation.

Actually, it's the other way around: Emacs cowardly decides that it
doesn't want to mess with random binary characters in the file, and
reads the file verbatim, without any code conversions.  The user then
has an opportunity to clean up the file and save it without risking
lossage due to incorrect decoding/encoding.

In other words, what you get is Emacs 19 style behavior, where every
byte was displayed as itself.

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