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Re: Info pages opened with an incorrect coding system

From: Karl Berry
Subject: Re: Info pages opened with an incorrect coding system
Date: Sun, 8 Jul 2007 17:56:12 -0500

    What happens if you do not specify --enable-encoding?

--enable-encoding principally affects two things.
1) whether the Local Variables section is output.
2) whether Texinfo constructs such @'e outputs an ASCII transliteration
   of the accented character (e'), or a real 8-bit accented character
   (assuming the given @documentencoding supports it).

The reason for this is that there was general agreement that having
makeinfo suddenly start outputting 8-bit files would be unwelcome.

I could easily change things so that the Local Variables section was
always output if a @documentencoding was present.  I don't see any
particular harm in that.  Whether we should start to output 8-bit files
by default for any input with a @documentencoding, I'm less sure.

--enable-encoding was added in version 4.1, March 2002.

    That works fine in Emacs, which can read them all, 
I am sure that the vast majority of Info documents are read in Emacs.
Worrying about Info documents being read in some other viewer doesn't
seem very important to me.

    but it might be better to generate all the Info files in UTF-8.

Maybe, but it would be a lot of work.  On the input side, makeinfo has
no special understanding of what it's reading.  If there are eight-bit
bytes in the input file, it just outputs them as-is, which works well
enough now; we couldn't get away with that any more.  On the output
side, this would mean converting from some arbitrary encoding system to
UTF-8.  Of course changing either of these is possible, but neither is
easy.  It doesn't seem to me that the gain is worth the time.  It's not
like the support for ISO-8859-* is going to disappear.


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