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Re: Inputting the newer unicode characters

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  • Kenneth Beesley
    Eze, Well, I m glad it was helpful. I d like to switch over to vim, but I work a lot with exotic Unicode characters in the supplementary area. When I last
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 30, 2007
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      Eze,

      Well, I'm glad it was helpful.

      I'd like to switch over to vim, but I work a lot with exotic Unicode
      characters
      in the supplementary area. When I last looked into vim, and
      experimented
      with keymaps, I found that I could easily enter any Unicode char, and
      save
      the results to file---and the Unicode chars in the file were
      correct. But as
      long as I couldn't _see_ my character glyphs rendered on the screen,
      vim wasn't
      acceptable as an editor. All I could see were boxes (or question
      marks--I can't
      remember which).

      It shouldn't be too hard for vim to display such characters, at least
      for
      straightforward alphabetic scripts like Shavian and Deseret (which
      are in the
      Supplementary space), as long as you
      specify a suitable font, but somewhere down inside the system there is
      (or was) a limitation that allows vim to display glyphs only for
      characters in
      the Basic Multilingual Plane. There are relatively few of us who
      care about
      Unicode, let alone Supplementary characters, so fixing this problem is
      probably not high priority.

      Another problem (for me) with vim is that it needs a monowidth font.
      On Linux,
      I think vim can use any font, but it still works best with a
      monowidth font.
      In today's computing, that's an awkward restriction.

      Please keep me informed if you find that there has been progress, or
      if I
      am plain wrong on any of these issues.

      Ken


      On 30 Aug 2007, at 15:24, Eze wrote:

      >
      > Thanks a lot, Ken! I have learned quite a lot from your post: your
      > understanding goes far beyond mine. I'm very interested to see how
      > soon unicode will be fully supported, if ever. It seems reasonable,
      > XML and metadata aside, but the rendering issues seem to be more
      > complicated than one would like.
      >
      > By the way, if you're a beginner, I'm still in kindergarten!
      >
      > Best,
      >
      > Eze
      >
      >
      > >


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    • Tony Mechelynck
      ... See :help i_CTRL-V_digit Ctrl-V u is for Unicode codepoints in the BMP (i.e., U+0000 to U+FFFF). After that, use an uppercase U (i.e., shift-u): Ctrl-V U
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 30, 2007
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        Eze wrote:
        > Greetings!
        >
        > Does anybody know how to input, for instance, U+1D434 in vim (a "math"
        > uppercase "A")? By using the sequence CTRL-V u 1D434 vim
        > understandably only reads 1D43, getting "ᵃ4".
        >
        > Many thanks in advance.
        >
        > Cheers,
        >
        > Eze


        See ":help i_CTRL-V_digit"

        Ctrl-V u is for Unicode codepoints in the BMP (i.e., U+0000 to U+FFFF). After
        that, use an uppercase U (i.e., shift-u):

        Ctrl-V U 0001D434

        (the initial zeros may be omitted if the sequence is followed by a keypress
        other than [0-9A-Fa-f].)

        A limitation of current versions of Vim is that codepoints above U+FFFF are
        displayed as question marks (with the proper width). The data is entered
        correctly into the file, and ga and g8 show the correct values. Someone
        (Edward L. Fox IIRC) said he'd look into it but I haven't heard from him about
        it recently.



        Best regards,
        Tony.
        --
        Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity.
        -- Alvy Ray Smith

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      • Tony Mechelynck
        Kenneth Beesley wrote: [...] ... [...] It s the same on Linux: AFAIK, that s a platform-independent limitation of current (and past) versions of gvim. IIRC,
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 30, 2007
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          Kenneth Beesley wrote:
          [...]
          > 2. That (I believe) will put the Math Uppercase A into the buffer,
          > and you can write the buffer out to
          > file (e.g. in UTF-8) successfully, that doesn't mean
          > that vim can display/render it. The last I heard (months ago) was
          > that vim was generally unable
          > to render Supplementary chars, even if you specify a font that
          > contains the glyphs you need in the
          > supplementary area. The situation on Linux may be different.
          > Updates/corrections from vim experts would be welcome.
          [...]

          It's the same on Linux: AFAIK, that's a platform-independent limitation of
          current (and past) versions of gvim. IIRC, Edward L. Fox had said he'd look
          into it but I don't know how far he got.


          Best regards,
          Tony.
          --
          A wanton young lady from Wimley
          Reproached for not acting quite primly
          Said, "Heavens above!
          I know sex isn't love,
          But it's such an entrancing facsimile."

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        • Eze
          Thanks a lot to you both for your insights. Ken, if I may ask, what exactly do you use to see/work with/input unicode characters? All information will be
          Message 4 of 13 , Aug 31, 2007
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            Thanks a lot to you both for your insights. Ken, if I may ask, what
            exactly do you use to see/work with/input unicode characters? All
            information will be appreciated, such as linux distribution, desktop
            manager, text editor, etcetera.

            Best regards,

            Eze


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          • Tony Mechelynck
            ... I don t know what Ken does, but I use gvim to input any unicode codepoints, and any browser (Firefox, SeaMonkey, or, depending on platform, Konqueror, IE,
            Message 5 of 13 , Aug 31, 2007
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              Eze wrote:
              > Thanks a lot to you both for your insights. Ken, if I may ask, what
              > exactly do you use to see/work with/input unicode characters? All
              > information will be appreciated, such as linux distribution, desktop
              > manager, text editor, etcetera.
              >
              > Best regards,
              >
              > Eze

              I don't know what Ken does, but I use gvim to input any unicode codepoints,
              and any browser (Firefox, SeaMonkey, or, depending on platform, Konqueror, IE,
              Safari, etc.) to visualise those outside the BMP.


              Best regards,
              Tony.
              --
              Boob's Law:
              You always find something in the last place you look.

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            • Kenneth Beesley
              Hi Eze, For my Unicode editing needs, I try to survey the field once or twice a year. It s been a while since I last looked, so my information is probably out
              Message 6 of 13 , Sep 4, 2007
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                Hi Eze,

                For my Unicode editing needs, I try to survey the field once or twice
                a year.
                It's been a while since I last looked, so my information is probably
                out of date.
                I can't keep up with all the Unicode-editing options.

                My Unicode-editing needs are somewhat unusual. I occasionally need to
                type Arabic script, and I definitely need Unicode combining
                diacritics and
                supplementary characters. I insist on being able to write my own
                input methods,
                and I'd like a solution that works in OS X, Linux and perhaps even
                Windows.
                I haven't found a perfect solution yet for my needs.

                On the Mac, which I use most often, TextEdit (supplied with OS X) does a
                much better than average job of _rendering_ the Unicode characters
                that you
                type. It has a built-in set of default fonts that so far have
                rendered almost
                anything that I've wanted to type, including Shavian and Deseret.
                Combining
                diacritics are (to the extent that I've tested them) handled
                acceptably, even
                rather well--this is a weak point in many other allegedly Unicode-
                savvy editors.
                However, if you are used to a full-featured text editor like vim
                or emacs, then TextEdit hardly seems like a text editor at all. Too
                limited in
                commands and overall functionality. I'm glad that TextEdit is
                available,
                but I use it reluctantly.

                TextEdit can use Apple Input Methods, many of which are supplied, and
                you can (with some difficulty) define your own so that you can type in
                Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek, Shavian, Deseret or whatever using your own
                favorite
                keyboard mapping or input method. I'm a firm believer that you ought to
                be able to define your own personal input methods (or keyboard-layout
                emulations)
                so that you can do it Your Way, even if dozens of input methods
                are already available. There are (or were) some bugs in the
                interpretation of Apple
                Input Methods, and fixing them seems to be very low priority at
                Apple. I need
                to recheck the status.

                I need to take another look at the commercial text editors available
                for OS X.

                I also work a lot with Unicode in XML, and I have purchased a license
                for the oXygen
                XML editor. oXygen is Java-based and so can use Java Input Methods,
                which
                are much better documented and easier to define than Apple Input
                Methods.
                oXygen can also be used to edit plain-text Unicode files. It renders
                Unicode
                to the extent that Java Swing text widgets render Unicode, which is
                pretty
                well. Installing new Unicode TrueType/OpenType fonts inside your Java
                installation, to allow the rendering of exotic characters, can be a
                challenge
                for the casual user.

                In addition to the commercial oXygen, there are a few other Java-based
                text editors that you might explore. I need to look at them again.
                Typically
                such editors are based on Java Swing text widgets, can use TrueType or
                OpenType fonts, and Java Input Methods. You can define your own Java
                Input Methods, but it'll be hard if you're not a hacker. The freely
                available kmap_ime.jar
                and kmap_ime_gui.jar are Java-Input-Method wrappers that allow you to
                use input methods expressed as Yudit-style .kmap files as if they were
                Java Input Methods. (Yudit .kmap files are very similar in format
                and semantics
                to the vim keymap files.)

                The Yudit editor is notable for its flexible handling of fonts,
                rendering Unicode, and
                allowing you to define your own input methods easily, but like
                TextEdit it hardly seems
                like a text editor at all to someone used to emacs or vim.

                Traditionally I've used emacs, but emacs does not use Unicode
                internally,
                instead providing what I find to be an awkward and very incomplete
                way of
                mapping between its internal MULE-encoded internal representation and
                Unicode files on input/output. In practice, the set of input methods
                available for emacs is MULE-based and closed. emacs has seriously
                dragged its
                feet on Unicode implementation.

                When it comes to Unicode implementation, vim is (in my opinion) much
                more
                promising than emacs. Vim seems to do an excellent internal job of
                reading, editing,
                and writing Unicode. Vim keymaps, for typing in Unicode chars, are
                _very_
                easy to define or modify, and they fit my needs perfectly. The
                remaining problems
                (from my point of view) with vim are these

                1. Failure to render Unicode characters from the supplementary area
                (I can't
                edit a screen full of question marks)
                2. The limitation to fixed-width fonts (A profound nuisance/
                limitation. Vim
                on Linux can use variable-width fonts, but it still works much better
                with fixed-
                width fonts.)

                On Linux, consider Java-based solutions such as oXygen. In Gnome
                there's
                gedit, but (the last time I looked) the definition and addition of
                new input
                methods for gedit was poorly documented and required some background
                hacking. I managed it once, but it's not acceptably easy or acceptably
                documented, in my opinion.

                I'm not acquainted with KDE (the alternative to Gnome in Linux). Is
                anyone
                out there acquainted with the kedit editor?

                I'm not acquainted with Microsoft/PC solutions.

                I need to look at OpenOffice solutions.

                Corrections/Comments/Suggestions would be Very Welcome

                I don't have an axe to grind--I just need to edit Unicode (including
                Arabic,
                Cyrillic, Supplementary Characters, Combining Diacritics) and I
                insist on
                being able to write my own input methods. I'd like a solution (with
                input
                methods) that works across multiple operating systems. I'd like to use
                TrueType/OpenType fonts, without a fixed-width limitation, and be
                able to
                use virtual fonts that combine glyphs from a set of user-designated real
                fonts. And I want a full-featured user-interface like that in vim or
                emacs.

                I would welcome pointers to other Unicode-editing solutions that I
                may have overlooked.

                Ken




                On 31 Aug 2007, at 15:48, Eze wrote:

                >
                > Thanks a lot to you both for your insights. Ken, if I may ask, what
                > exactly do you use to see/work with/input unicode characters? All
                > information will be appreciated, such as linux distribution, desktop
                > manager, text editor, etcetera.
                >
                > Best regards,
                >
                > Eze
                >
                >
                > >


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              • Kenneth Beesley
                Tony, If I were just typing in a Supplementary character here and there, or even an isolated word, I would use a similar solution. However, I m editing
                Message 7 of 13 , Sep 4, 2007
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                  Tony,

                  If I were just typing in a Supplementary character here and there,
                  or even an isolated word, I would use a similar solution.

                  However, I'm editing (proofreading) chapter-length texts consisting of
                  supplementary characters, and when I open such a text in vim and
                  see nothing but a screenful of question marks, you can imagine
                  my disappointment.

                  Best wishes,

                  Ken



                  On 31 Aug 2007, at 23:19, Tony Mechelynck wrote:

                  >
                  > Eze wrote:
                  >> Thanks a lot to you both for your insights. Ken, if I may ask, what
                  >> exactly do you use to see/work with/input unicode characters? All
                  >> information will be appreciated, such as linux distribution, desktop
                  >> manager, text editor, etcetera.
                  >>
                  >> Best regards,
                  >>
                  >> Eze
                  >
                  > I don't know what Ken does, but I use gvim to input any unicode
                  > codepoints,
                  > and any browser (Firefox, SeaMonkey, or, depending on platform,
                  > Konqueror, IE,
                  > Safari, etc.) to visualise those outside the BMP.
                  >
                  >
                  > Best regards,
                  > Tony.
                  > --
                  > Boob's Law:
                  > You always find something in the last place you look.
                  >
                  > >


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                • Nico Weber
                  Hi, ... This should be fixed with the current svn version, at least for gvim (if you have the necessary fonts). Nico
                  Message 8 of 13 , Sep 23, 2007
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                    Hi,

                    > I'd like to switch over to vim, but I work a lot with exotic Unicode
                    > characters
                    > in the supplementary area. When I last looked into vim, and
                    > experimented
                    > with keymaps, I found that I could easily enter any Unicode char, and
                    > save
                    > the results to file---and the Unicode chars in the file were
                    > correct. But as
                    > long as I couldn't _see_ my character glyphs rendered on the screen,
                    > vim wasn't
                    > acceptable as an editor. All I could see were boxes (or question
                    > marks--I can't
                    > remember which).

                    This should be fixed with the current svn version, at least for gvim
                    (if you have the necessary fonts).

                    Nico

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                  • Kenneth Beesley
                    Nico, This is great news. Many thanks for the message. Ken ... --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message from the
                    Message 9 of 13 , Sep 23, 2007
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                      Nico,

                      This is great news. Many thanks for the message.

                      Ken


                      On 23 Sep 2007, at 09:46, Nico Weber wrote:

                      >
                      > Hi,
                      >
                      >> I'd like to switch over to vim, but I work a lot with exotic Unicode
                      >> characters
                      >> in the supplementary area. When I last looked into vim, and
                      >> experimented
                      >> with keymaps, I found that I could easily enter any Unicode char, and
                      >> save
                      >> the results to file---and the Unicode chars in the file were
                      >> correct. But as
                      >> long as I couldn't _see_ my character glyphs rendered on the screen,
                      >> vim wasn't
                      >> acceptable as an editor. All I could see were boxes (or question
                      >> marks--I can't
                      >> remember which).
                      >
                      > This should be fixed with the current svn version, at least for gvim
                      > (if you have the necessary fonts).
                      >
                      > Nico
                      >
                      > >


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                    • Tony Mechelynck
                      ... Yes: even for people who don t use SVN (but CVS, A-A-P, ftp, whatever), it is patch 7.1.116, and works for me. Best regards, Tony. -- Water? Never touch
                      Message 10 of 13 , Sep 23, 2007
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                        Nico Weber wrote:
                        > Hi,
                        >
                        >> I'd like to switch over to vim, but I work a lot with exotic Unicode
                        >> characters
                        >> in the supplementary area. When I last looked into vim, and
                        >> experimented
                        >> with keymaps, I found that I could easily enter any Unicode char, and
                        >> save
                        >> the results to file---and the Unicode chars in the file were
                        >> correct. But as
                        >> long as I couldn't _see_ my character glyphs rendered on the screen,
                        >> vim wasn't
                        >> acceptable as an editor. All I could see were boxes (or question
                        >> marks--I can't
                        >> remember which).
                        >
                        > This should be fixed with the current svn version, at least for gvim
                        > (if you have the necessary fonts).
                        >
                        > Nico

                        Yes: even for people who don't use SVN (but CVS, A-A-P, ftp, whatever), it is
                        patch 7.1.116, and works for me.


                        Best regards,
                        Tony.
                        --
                        "Water? Never touch the stuff! Fish fuck in it."
                        -- W. C. Fields

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