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Re: joe 128+ ASCII characters (was Re: EURO patch)

On Sat, Nov 28, 1998 at 10:57:34PM -0800, Steve Lamb wrote:

> Then you are saying that any non-English-language user cannot reasonably
> use Debian by default.

Thanks for noticing.

> A large portion of using any 'nix, part of the culture, is defined in four
> letters.  RTFM.  Like it or not, the predominant language of TFM is
> English.  I don't think it is reasonable to set defaults based on
> ignorance, no matter what the reason.

That part of the Unix culture is pretty silly, IMHO.  Yes, the manual is a
wonderful thing, total flexibility is king, and so on.  But intelligent
defaults don't hurt power users in any way.

To restate that: since you have already RTFM, you would have no problem
taking -asis back out of your joerc, and passing an option to 'less' to make
it escape high-ascii characters again.

I think defaults should be chosen based on what, statistically, gives the
most useful results most often.  That means more people will _not_ need to
change the option than _will_ need to change the option.  In the big
picture, that means the world has become more efficient. (Maybe not by much,
but it has.)

So my question remains: would it be better for all editors in Debian to be
8-bit clean by default, or should we leave things alone?

> > >     Do most of the terminal programs out there also default to showing
> > > high-ascii properly?
> > I'm not sure what you mean.  For terminal emulators, rxvt, xterm, and the
> > Linux console all seem to show high ascii.
>     But I'm not talking Linux.  I'm talking in general.  You have to
> remember, part of the power of Unix is remote administration from terminals
> other than the console.  That is why I am sitting here in a VT100 terminal
> on my WinNT box telnetted into my Linux box which had its own monitor and
> keyboard.  Or I could be in my bedroom on a VT220 dumb term.  I am talking
> about what connects to the box, not what is *ON* the box.

Well, all good DOS comm programs have been 8-bit clean since the 1980's. 
Very poorly designed terminal programs, possibly including Windows Telnet
(which doesn't even emulate a vt100 well enough to work with joe, so the
point is moot) might not display 8-bit characters correctly.  In that case,
they'll display the wrong character, which is only slightly hazardous.

I thought VT220's did iso-8859-1 or similar, when in 8n1 mode.  I could be

> > My question is whether this should be the case.  Many things in Debian
> > are much better than other distributions (witness the backspace/delete
> > situation) because we bother with such minutae.
> But when considering such minutae once must consider all ascpects of it,
> not just one.

Certainly.  I'm glad we're having this discussion.

Have fun,


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