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Re: x-symbol package dangerous in multibyte environment

On Thu, 31 Oct 2002  Steve Dunham <dunham@cse.msu.edu> wrote:

> Janusz S. Bień wrote:
> > Thanks for quick answer.
> I can't reproduce the problem with the version of x-symbol in
> unstable/testing (4.43-4).

I am afraid you missed my point. The site-wide installation of
x-symbol forces innocent users :-) to change the way how they process
their perfectly legal TeX files. They have either edit them to provide
x-symbol specific local variables or to use specific locale even if
they regularly use a different one.

In my opinion this is unacceptable. If there is no quick way out,
x-symbol after installation should be disabled by default, and
interested users should enable it locally, without affecting others.

> I tried it with emacs21 and LANG=pl_PL.  

Please try it without changing locale.

When testing in a slightly different environment, I get different
behaviour for the test:

>  > If you open the enclosed `alfabet1.tex' file and save it as
>  > `alfabet2.tex', then you get rubbish in the second file.

The new buffer is interpreted and displayed as coded in Latin-1 and
GNU Emacs asks for choosing a coding system. This is definitely better
but still not acceptable.

The following test shows better the danger of installing x-symbol the
way it is now:

Open `alfabet1.tex', do some minor editing, e.g. add a space on the
end of line (or simulate this by C-u M-~) and save the file. You will
get rubbish without any warning. To be precise, the file content will
be interpreted as Latin-1 and stored in some ISO-2022 coding system
using a lot of escape sequences. However, due to the local variable,
it will be visited as Latin-2, i.e. without the proper interpretation
of the escape sequences.

In other words, if a Debian site administrator installes x-symbol
without warning all the users, some of them can waste a lot of their
work before they realize that the files are not saved correctly (and
most of them will don't know how to recover - forcing ctex coding
system when visiting garbled files seems to be the first step to go).

> The saved file is
> identical to the loaded one.  Janusz, can you test it?  The
> package is at:
> http://http.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/x/x-symbol/x-symbol_4.43-4_all.deb

The new version does not address the problem. Moreover, it produces a
lot of warnings during installation. Are they stored somewhere or one
can only watch them on the screen?

Best regards


dr hab. Janusz S. Bien, prof. UW
Prof. Janusz S. Bien, Warsaw Uniwersity
Na tym koncie czytam i wysylam poczte i wiadomosci offline.
On this account I read/post mail/news offline.

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