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Bug#219551: Unicode xterms should do some kind of substitution for missing characters

On Sun, Nov 09, 2003 at 12:37:43PM +0100, Eduard Bloch wrote:

| > That may be so, but gnome-terminal /does/ cope with this situation by
| > displaying replacing the hyphen with a minus sign when the font doesn't
| Then gnome-terminal is broken and deservers a bug report.

I disagree.  gnome-terminal is behaving as intended, i.e., displaying
the nearest character to a hyphen present in the font it was instructed
to use.

Incidentally, below are screenshots of "man rm" on three different
terminal emulators.  In order of increasing brokenness of display:


| > contain the former.  Konsole and xterm do not.  xterm is my preferred
| They should not. They implement an UTF-8 terminal correctly,
| gnome-terminal does not if I follow your explanation.

gnome-terminal, like other GTK2 apps, deals gracefully with fonts with
missing characters.  Konsole, like other KDE/Qt apps, does not.

| Though I could imagine this character replacement as an option, so the
| user may enable it he likes it.

Implementing it as optional would be possible, I suppose, but I fail to
see why anyone would enable an option which gives them an inferior

| > terminal emulator and it would be nice to see it cope gracefully with
| > incomplete fonts---and after all, I would imagine that in the majority
| > of fonts there exists some Unicode character which is missing and
| > another similar character which could be substituted for it.
| Hyphens are not missing. They are meant to be hyphens and should be
| presented as hyphens and not as some other char.

They are missing in the font that I am using.  Thus they are /not/
displayed as hyphens, they are displayed as little boxes.  Presenting
them as minus signs is certainly preferable to refusing to display them
at all.

| > | It was promised that groff will recode hyphen to minus sign in some
| > | future version (maybe as an option) to work around broken manpages.
| > 
| > That would be a workaround for this particular case - which is admittedly
| > the only that I've noticed.
| That will be the only sane workaround except of fixing the actual
| problems in the manpages.

No.  There is no problem with manpages using hyphens.  If a font
contains separate hyphens and minus signs, they should be presented as
hyphens in UTF-8 locales, too.  If a font does /not/ contain a hyphen
character, displaying them as the closest approximation that is
contained in that font, or perhaps even as a hyphen from another font,
is the Right Thing to do.



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