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Re: Unicode support in io Forge package

From: Markus Mützel
Subject: Re: Unicode support in io Forge package
Date: Sun, 20 Oct 2019 16:15:23 +0200

Am 20. Oktober 2019 um 15:44 Uhr schrieb "Andrew Janke":
> On 10/20/19 6:13 AM, PhilipNienhuis wrote:
> > mmuetzel wrote
> >> If I correctly understand the last few comments, the problem was (or is?)
> >> that UTF-8 encoded strings weren't displayed correctly on legacy Windows.
> >> But I don't think that the io package should interfere with the encoding
> >> of the strings it reads to work around this.
> >> If this is still an issue (it isn't on Windows 10), it should be resolved
> >> differently.
> >
> > In an earlier post in this thread you wrote something about legacy systems
> > and releases.
> > io is to be backwards-compatible to Octave-4.0.0 and 32-bit systems, so we
> > need to be sure it's still working there.
> >
> > Support for Windows 7 formally ends January next year but I'd like to keep
> > io working on Win7 a little longer.
> So it sounds like we need to find an authoritative answer for which
> Octave version had pretty much switched over to UTF-8 internal
> representations, and wrap all this Unicode conversion stuff inside a
> ver_less_than() test?
> Unless someone knows this offhand, might be kind of hard since Octave
> didn't used to be formal about discussing how it handled character
> encodings in chars.

Unfortunately, I have to agree again. I think it is very hard to pinpoint an 
exact version for which we suddenly switched to use UTF-8 consistently. In 
earlier versions, one had to use a bunch of different work-arounds to use 
non-ASCII characters in different situations - most of them not compatible to 
each other. And for some situations, there just was no work-around at all.
I think that the transition to using UTF-8 more or less consistently still 
isn't over. If I remember correctly, it started around or shortly after the 
work on bug #49222 - so about 3 years ago.
Maybe, we could "define" the change for bug #43099 to be the decisive step for 
this particular bug (displaying strings in the command window). So if we really 
want to keep the old work-around (I'm not sure I want to vote for it since it 
breaks other things), I'd vote for disabling it for Octave version 4.4 and 


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