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coding systems vs. info files

From: Miles Bader
Subject: coding systems vs. info files
Date: Thu, 09 Feb 2006 10:58:14 +0900

I noticed the info node "efaq" on my system has what are apparently
non-ascii characters in it, but just appear as gibberish (octal escapes)
in info mode, and even visiting the underlying info file not in info
mode, emacs doesn't seem to recognize the coding.

However, if I (1) visit the info file (.../info/efaq) using
`find-file-literally', (2) cut the first page or two of it, (3) save
that in a temporary file, and then (4) visit the temporary file, emacs
recognizes the coding (it's UTF-8)!

So what I can gather from this is:

  (a) Makeinfo apparently generated non-English strings when it made the
      info file, and used utf-8 to encode it.  My LANG environment
      variable is "ja_JP.utf-8", which is probably why.

  (b) It did not put any "coding:" tags in the file to reflect this encoding.

  (c) Emacs did not recognize the coding, even though my LANG and
      language-environment are setup to make it easy for it to do so --
      I guess maybe that's because Emacs decoding gets confused by
      various magic characters in the info file (like ^_ -- although the
      temporary file that Emacs _did_ decode successfully includes at
      least one ^_ character from the original info file).

So, my question is, should any of the above be happening?

(a) seems a bit silly -- the strings which get encoded in Japanese/UTF-8
are a just few random boilerplate things, and given that the actual
content of the file is in English, it's kind of inconsistent, and not
terribly useful for Japanese speakers.  It seems like makeinfo should
ignore LANG for the most part, and just use the language the texinfo
file was written in as the language for any makeinfo-produced text
(though maybe it could look at LANG to fine-tune the final encoding).

As for (b), it seems like makeinfo should probably add a coding: tag to
reflect whatever decision it makes.  If it does that, then it solves (c).


97% of everything is grunge

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