RE: [nelocsig] Re: Generic Unicode font handling

From: Frank da Cruz (
Date: Wed Nov 17 1999 - 14:37:47 EST

Bob Sandstrom wrote:

> I am very interested by your comments. Here is the opinion of a pine user.
> (No, I'm not a pine author, despite the address.)
> In pine, I get only one MIME charset per pine process...
I have a lot less trouble than you do because my setup is even lower tech
than yours. My mail host and mail agent are entirely ignorant of character
sets (and they don't chop off the 8th bit).

If I get plain-text email that is in a particular character-set, like UTF-8,
ISO Latin-1, Latin-2, Latin-Cyrillic, ISO 646 Swedish, PC code page 852,
KOI-8, Elot 927, Apple Quickdraw, etc etc, I simply switch my terminal
emulator's character-set to match so I can read the message.

The trick is for the local end of the terminal emulator to be Unicode-based.
That way, every other character-set is a subset of the one I'm using, and
viewing is a "mere question of mapping".

Of course it can be laborious to switch my emulator for every message, so
the process could be moved up the chain to the mail client itself. This
makes sense, because the mail client can read the MIME charset tag and
therefore do the switching automatically. In this case it could (a) convert
all messages to (say) UTF-8 (assuming I had a UTF-8 terminal); or (b) issue
the appropriate ISO-2022 character-set designation escape sequences to
switch my terminal to the right character set for each message (which would
work for character sets in the IR, but not for PC code pages, etc).

By the way, the first bit was the first stanza of Wolfram von Eschenbach,
"Tagelied" (ca 1200); the second bit was the beginning of Pushkin's "Bronze
Horseman". All in UTF-8, of course, as announced in the mail headers.

- Frank

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:56 EDT