Re: Is there a term for strictly-just-this-encoding-and-not-really-that-encoding?

From: Frank da Cruz (
Date: Thu Nov 11 2010 - 12:38:35 CST

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    Doug Ewell wrote:
    > ...
    > There was a time, about 10 years ago, when Frank da Cruz would have
    > replied almost immediately about the importance of C1 controls in
    > terminal environments, and the arguments about incompatibility between
    > 8859-1 and Windows-1252 would have been off and running.
    They're still important to *me* but I think I must be the last one.
    It's already been many years since I changed the default character encoding
    in my terminal emulator (Kermit 95 of course) to cp1252, because otherwise
    Kermit's faithful VT320 emulation would become wedged (just as a real VT320
    would) every two minutes upon reception of an email containing a "smart
    quote" or somesuch.

    Most people are not even old enough to know what I'm talking about; they
    came of age in a Microsoft world. They come into my office and look at my
    screen and ask me what I'm doing, they never saw anything like it before;
    screens are supposed to have spreadsheets on them, or some kind of video
    conference. I used to say "I'm being productive", or "I'm writing code",
    but nowadays the irony is lost (they don't know what "productive" or
    "code" mean).

    (I can also do UTF-8 sessions in Kermit 95 but most of the Unix host-based
    applications I use still don't don't handle UTF-8, or at least not
    adequately, but I can still switch to UTF-8 to read the occasional email --
    almost always from this list -- that looks interesting.)

    Although Digital Equipment Corporation vanished long ago, their VMS
    operating system (now owned by HP) still has a large but largely unnoticed
    presence, and it makes heavy use of C1 controls. In any case, DEC's
    influence is still felt to this day in that its terminal types (VT100, 220,
    320...) are widely emulated on PCs and widely supported by hosts (e.g. in
    Unix termcaps/terminfos). To the extent that the emulation is true, Windows
    code pages will break it every time.

    - Frank

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