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Re: Input method or help feature needed

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Input method or help feature needed
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2011 09:49:08 +0200

> Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 16:24:50 -0500
> From: Richard Stallman <address@hidden>
> Cc: address@hidden
>     C-x 8 RET * dotless TAB TAB
>     brings up a completions buffer containing all unicode character names
>     matching "DOTLESS" -- including LATIN SMALL LETTER DOTLESS I.
> That is trying to do this job, but using completion as the interface
> is inconvenient.  I don't want to have to navigate that buffer by
> typing TAB.  I am not sure what the * does, and I would never have
> thought of typing it.

Yes, the * feature is hard to discover.  It was only documented in the
Emacs manual, and is hardly intuitive for Emacs old-timers such as

> It takes a long time for the buffer to appear.  Perhaps that is
> inevitable, but having it happen in the middle of things was
> confusing.

There are many characters in the Unicode database, so slow machines
will take time generating the list, especially if that's the first
time you are invoking "C-x 8 RET".

> Is there a faster way to generate such a list?

Try "M-x list-character-sets", where you could type RET on the
unicode-bmp charset and have it displayed.  If you already know that
there's a charset named "unicode-bmp", you could use "M-x
list-charset-chars" instead.

We should probably enhance list-charset-chars with at least the
following 3 features:

  . Show the Unicode name of a character in a tooltip or by typing RET
    on its image;

  . Show input methods that support a character;

  . Allow to insert a character at point in another buffer (although
    M-w followed by C-y will do as a poor-man replacement).

> I'd rather have it ordered by languages than alphabetically.

Unicode character names already are ordered by languages (well,
almost: they are ordered by _scripts_, so only single-language scripts
will give you exactly what you want; there's no "turkish", for
example, only "latin").

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