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Problem of auto-fill-mode for wide character

From: Herbert Euler
Subject: Problem of auto-fill-mode for wide character
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 12:56:08 +0800


I'm very happy to see that Emacs supports Unicode internally, but
there is a problem in auto-fill-mode with this modification.  I'm
going to explain why I think it's because of Unicode support.

In Emacs 21, some wide characters, such as Chinese characters, are
inserted with the command 'encoded-kbd-self-insert-iso2022
-8bit'. This makes it different from inserting command for ASCII
characters, which are insterted with 'self-insert-command'. Auto-
fill-mode works fine in this way (although I don't know about the
detail); if one inputs more Chinese characters beyond 'current
-fill-column', these Chinese characters will be moved to the next line
automatically. Perhaps it's because Chinese characters are inserted
with 'encoded-kbd-self-insert-iso2022-8bit' other than

In the current Unicode 2 branch, Chinese characters are inserted with
the command 'self-insert-command' as ASCII characters.  This makes
auto-fill in Chinese like other languages such as English, since "in
Auto Fill mode, lines are broken automatically _at spaces_ when they
get longer than the desired width". This is good to languages in which
words are separated with spaces, but at least it's not appropriate for
Chinese, because there are _no_ spaces between Chinese characters. So
one can force Emacs auto-fill either by inserting spaces or by
pressing M-q to invoke 'fill-paragraph', both of them is not "natural"
in Chinese editing.

Could somebody help solve this problem? Thanks.

Guanpeng Xu

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