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CaptSunset
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Is there a Character Map Utility?

Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:14 pm

Hi guys-

I frequently seem to need a few special characters, like º , £, © ...

There's a standard utility in windows accessories they call Character Map.
You can select & copy from a grid of all possible ASCII characters.

Is there something like it available in the Raspian world?
I've looked here & there but think it must be called by another name.
Thanks in advance!

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DougieLawson
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Re: Is there a Character Map Utility?

Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:32 pm

sudo apt-get install charmap.app
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scruss
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Re: Is there a Character Map Utility?

Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:46 pm

DougieLawson wrote:sudo apt-get install charmap.app
Maybe not that one, Dougie. It's part of the ancient GNUstep system, and it has some weird conventions.Plus it installs a bunch of GNUstep support stuff.

Code: Select all

sudo apt install gucharmap
will install the Gnome Character Map program, which is pretty simple and predictable. I find it helpful for some of my more obscure work with Unicode fonts and symbols, and also it works like a CharMap should.
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CaptSunset
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Re: Is there a Character Map Utility?

Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:35 pm

Thanks much guys!
I've successfully installed gucharmap on a Pi 2B running the new Pixel.
for the record:
It gave me a moment when I thought it wasn't working, because I expected the chosen character to highlight with one click, and it didn't appear in the Select bar. Two clicks does the trick :D
There are a couple interesting characters I hadn't seen before- one looks just like a dog's nose :lol:
It is larger than I'd have expected, both onscreen and file size - it required an additional 53.7 megs (most of which seems to be a gnome user guide).

Bottom line: it works fine!

Just out of curiosity, how are utilities and other default pre-installed programs selected around here?

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scruss
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Re: Is there a Character Map Utility?

Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:01 am

CaptSunset wrote:There are a couple interesting characters I hadn't seen before- one looks just like a dog's nose :lol:
It is larger than I'd have expected, both onscreen and file size - it required an additional 53.7 megs (most of which seems to be a gnome user guide).
I remember that feeling of first discovering Unicode characters ... good times! Almost everything to do with Unicode (and, tbh, Gnome) is quite large, but it does work.
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CaptSunset
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Re: Is there a Character Map Utility?

Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:05 pm

Hey Scruss, we're nearly neighbors; I'm in Michigan.
(btw, Corner Gas, Royal Canadian Air Farce, New Waterford Girl, etc. :lol: )

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Re: Is there a Character Map Utility?

Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:20 pm

I remember when I first discovered unicode. Oh my God, I thought, it's the Tower of Babel all over again.

Turns out it's even worse than that. Unicode is ...X

Edit: Well, I'd like show you how bad Unicode is with the '\xF0\x9F\x92\xA9' code point.

However if I use it as "X" above the forum crashes out with:

Code: Select all

SQL ERROR [ mysqli ]

Incorrect string value: '\xF0\x9F\x92\xA9' for column 'post_text' at row 1 [1366]
Thus demonstrating my point.
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scruss
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Re: Is there a Character Map Utility?

Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:16 am

Unicode is absolutely wonderful, and I won't hear a word against it. Human language is hard and illogical, so would be impossible to portray with a simple encoding.

I used to work in multilingual publishing, back in the 8-bit charset days. Even the ISO 8859-* character sets weren't enough to work in a monolingual book, so there were lots of escapes and coding conventions mixed into the book markup. Publishing an Italian-Greek dictionary was no fun at all, as you couldn't see both languages at once. Sometimes we got some really odd stuff, like the framework for an entire Russian dictionary, encoded in a form of EBCDIC Cyrillic, all neatly packaged on ½" tape …
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Re: Is there a Character Map Utility?

Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:02 am

I can totally understand the motivation for unicode.

Human language is hard and illogical, as you say. The "illogical" part there implies that it is impossible to portray with any encoding never mind just simple ones.

Unicode demonstrates this point well.

My example is this unicode code point http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode ... /index.htm which causes the forum error show in the attached image if you try to use it in a post.

What on Earth are they thinking to include such nonsense into a software standard.

Another example would be this Javascript source code that uses some arabic characters. Can you see what has gone wrong there?

Code: Select all

let ﻝ = {
    ﺍ: function () {
        return ("Hello world!");
    }
}

let msg = ﻝ.ﺍ();
console.log(msg);

ف = (2 + 3) * (3 + 3)

console.log(ف);
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PeterO
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Re: Is there a Character Map Utility?

Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:08 am

UTF-8 encoding seems to work ok here ! In real life I find these very useful ! λ Ω
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Re: Is there a Character Map Utility?

Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:35 am

Ha, yes, I have found myself using a few symbols like π, θ, etc in source code recently.

I don't particularly have a problem with UTF-8, it's just an encoding after all. It's pretty clever actually. It allows us to use all our regular characters with 8 bit encodings but can accommodate wider characters when we need them. It's backwards compatible with ASCII. It does not have the byte ordering (endianness) problems of UTF-16/UTF-32.

The only down side I can see is that it makes finding the length of a string a lot harder.

My objection is to unicode. That process that is going on to include any and all meaningless nonsense into the standard.

If you put together the issues with unicode here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicode#P ... criticisms and others you start to see that there will never be any software that can correctly handle all of the junk in unicode.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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davidcoton
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Re: Is there a Character Map Utility?

Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:23 am

scruss wrote: Publishing an Italian-Greek dictionary was no fun at all, as you couldn't see both languages at once.
Oh, not at all. I had great fun with a Greek-Italian dictionary (maybe that difference is significant?) All in proprietary coding similar to SGML, with the Greek represented in Latin characters (actually very easy to read). I don't know Italian, and not much Greek, but I could still spot logical errors in the form of the Italian to report to the Italian part of the operation. I never blagged a printed copy, but I do have a Greek French interlinear New Testament, typeset in Ventura in the early 1990s using similar markup, at a cost per page about a fifth of the commercial quotes (ISBN 2 85300 680 8 in case anyone wants to know).
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scruss
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Re: Is there a Character Map Utility?

Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:50 pm

davidcoton wrote:Oh, not at all. I had great fun with a Greek-Italian dictionary (maybe that difference is significant?) All in proprietary coding similar to SGML, with the Greek represented in Latin characters (actually very easy to read).
I suspect we worked on the same project. The Greek to Latin transliteration may have been easy to read for you, but that's a happy and coincident bias that doesn't apply to many of the world's readers. You also had to bend your brain to consider SGML coding as readable ...
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davidcoton
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Re: Is there a Character Map Utility?

Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:35 pm

scruss wrote: I suspect we worked on the same project. The Greek to Latin transliteration may have been easy to read for you, but that's a happy and coincident bias that doesn't apply to many of the world's readers. You also had to bend your brain to consider SGML coding as readable ...
Greek-Italian Dictionary of the New Testament, Bible Society of Italy (IIRC), typeset by BFBS at Swindon.
Our coding identified the parts of each entry, a limited set. I had no difficulty remembering the significance of each code -- mainly because I defined many of them! Whether they came out looking right when typeset was a different matter, of course.
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