Re: Unicode in Unix

From: Markus Kuhn (
Date: Sat Feb 12 2000 - 05:51:01 EST

Piotr Trzcionkowski wrote on 2000-02-12 03:18 UTC:
> Using Unicode on forums controlled by Unix, mostly academic,
> fanatics is PROHIBITED ! After my news articles in utf-8 one of
> ignorant, add rule to his cancelbot.

This is likely to change soon when the new xterm with excellent UTF-8
support finds its way into the major Unix distributions in the next few
months. Xterm can now even do halfwidth/fullwidth switching (for CJK)
and overstriking combining characters (for Thai, IPA, math, etc.) and
the major Unix mail user agents are being updated to handle UTF-8 as we
speak. In fact, xterm users under Unix have now displaying capabilities
exceeding those of traditional specialized multilingual software such as

For more information, please read:

Most of this new UTF-8 support was driven by "fanatic academics", by the
way. :-)

It is a neat irony that the mailing lists on which active use of UTF-8
is most popular at the moment are all in English. I guess that is due to
the fact that people all over the world who are technically proficient
and interested enough to become early adopters of UTF-8 software updates
also tend to be reasonably proficient in English. Provincial mailing
lists will no doubt take considerably longer (~2003) to adopt UTF-8 than
international guru lists.


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
Email: mkuhn at,  WWW: <>

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