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+Q: Why does libiconv support encoding XXX? Why does libiconv not support
+ encoding ZZZ?
+
+A: libiconv, as an internationalization library, supports those character
+ sets and encodings which are in wide-spread use in at least one territory
+ of the world.
+
+ Hint1: On http://www.w3c.org/International/O-charset-lang.html you find a
+ page "Languages, countries, and the charsets typically used for them".
+ From this table, we can conclude that the following are in active use:
+
+ ISO-8859-1, CP1252 Afrikaans, Albanian, Basque, Catalan, Danish, Dutch,
+ English, Faroese, Finnish, French, Galician, German,
+ Icelandic, Irish, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese,
+ Scottish, Spanish, Swedish
+ ISO-8859-2 Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak,
+ Slovenian
+ ISO-8859-3 Esperanto, Maltese
+ ISO-8859-5 Bulgarian, Byelorussian, Macedonian, Russian,
+ Serbian, Ukrainian
+ ISO-8859-6 Arabic
+ ISO-8859-7 Greek
+ ISO-8859-8 Hebrew
+ ISO-8859-9, CP1254 Turkish
+ ISO-8859-10 Inuit, Lapp
+ ISO-8859-13 Latvian, Lithuanian
+ ISO-8859-15 Estonian
+ KOI8-R Russian
+ SHIFT_JIS Japanese
+ ISO-2022-JP Japanese
+ EUC-JP Japanese
+
+ Ordered by frequency on the web (1997):
+ ISO-8859-1, CP1252 96%
+ SHIFT_JIS 1.6%
+ ISO-2022-JP 1.2%
+ EUC-JP 0.4%
+ CP1250 0.3%
+ CP1251 0.2%
+ CP850 0.1%
+ MACINTOSH 0.1%
+ ISO-8859-5 0.1%
+ ISO-8859-2 0.0%
+
+ Hint2: The character sets mentioned in the XFree86 4.0 locale.alias file.
+
+ ISO-8859-1 Afrikaans, Basque, Breton, Catalan, Danish, Dutch,
+ English, Estonian, Faroese, Finnish, French,
+ Galician, German, Greenlandic, Icelandic,
+ Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian, Norwegian,
+ Occitan, Portuguese, Scottish, Spanish, Swedish,
+ Walloon, Welsh
+ ISO-8859-2 Albanian, Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish,
+ Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian
+ ISO-8859-3 Esperanto
+ ISO-8859-4 Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian
+ ISO-8859-5 Bulgarian, Byelorussian, Macedonian, Russian,
+ Serbian, Ukrainian
+ ISO-8859-6 Arabic
+ ISO-8859-7 Greek
+ ISO-8859-8 Hebrew
+ ISO-8859-9 Turkish
+ ISO-8859-14 Breton, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
+ ISO-8859-15 Basque, Breton, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, Estonian,
+ Faroese, Finnish, French, Galician, German,
+ Greenlandic, Icelandic, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian,
+ Norwegian, Occitan, Portuguese, Scottish, Spanish,
+ Swedish, Walloon, Welsh
+ KOI8-R Russian
+ KOI8-U Russian, Ukrainian
+ EUC-JP (alias eucJP) Japanese
+ ISO-2022-JP (alias JIS7) Japanese
+ SHIFT_JIS (alias SJIS) Japanese
+ U90 Japanese
+ S90 Japanese
+ EUC-CN (alias eucCN) Chinese
+ EUC-TW (alias eucTW) Chinese
+ BIG5 Chinese
+ EUC-KR (alias eucKR) Korean
+ ARMSCII-8 Armenian
+ GEORGIAN-ACADEMY Georgian
+ GEORGIAN-PS Georgian
+ TIS-620 (alias TACTIS) Thai
+ MULELAO-1 Laothian
+ IBM-CP1133 Laothian
+ VISCII Vietnamese
+ TCVN Vietnamese
+ NUNACOM-8 Inuktitut
+
+ Hint3: The character sets supported by Netscape Communicator 4.
+
+ Where is this documented? For the complete picture, I had to use
+ "strings netscape" and then a lot of guesswork. For a quick take,
+ look at the "View - Character set" menu of Netscape Communicator 4.6:
+
+ ISO-8859-{1,2,5,7,9,15}
+ WINDOWS-{1250,1251,1253}
+ KOI8-R Cyrillic
+ CP866 Cyrillic
+ Autodetect Japanese (EUC-JP, ISO-2022-JP, ISO-2022-JP-2, SJIS)
+ EUC-JP Japanese
+ SHIFT_JIS Japanese
+ GB2312 Chinese
+ BIG5 Chinese
+ EUC-TW Chinese
+ Autodetect Korean (EUC-KR, ISO-2022-KR, but not JOHAB)
+
+ UTF-8
+ UTF-7
+
+ Hint4: The character sets supported by Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.
+
+ ISO-8859-{1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9}
+ WINDOWS-{1250,1251,1252,1253,1254,1255,1256,1257}
+ KOI8-R Cyrillic
+ KOI8-RU Ukrainian
+ ASMO-708 Arabic
+ EUC-JP Japanese
+ ISO-2022-JP Japanese
+ SHIFT_JIS Japanese
+ GB2312 Chinese
+ HZ-GB-2312 Chinese
+ BIG5 Chinese
+ EUC-KR Korean
+ ISO-2022-KR Korean
+ WINDOWS-874 Thai
+ WINDOWS-1258 Vietnamese
+
+ UTF-8
+ UTF-7
+ UNICODE actually UNICODE-LITTLE
+ UNICODEFEFF actually UNICODE-BIG
+
+ and various DOS character sets: DOS-720, DOS-862, IBM852, CP866.
+
+ We take the union of all these four sets. The result is:
+
+ European and Semitic languages
+ * ASCII.
+ We implement this because it is occasionally useful to know or to
+ check whether some text is entirely ASCII (i.e. if the conversion
+ ISO-8859-x -> UTF-8 is trivial).
+ * ISO-8859-{1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10}
+ We implement this because they are widely used. Except ISO-8859-4
+ which appears to have been superseded by ISO-8859-13 in the baltic
+ countries. But it's an ISO standard anyway.
+ * ISO-8859-13
+ We implement this because it's a standard in Lithuania and Latvia.
+ * ISO-8859-14
+ We implement this because it's an ISO standard.
+ * ISO-8859-15
+ We implement this because it's increasingly used in Europe, because
+ of the Euro symbol.
+ * ISO-8859-16
+ We implement this because it's an ISO standard.
+ * KOI8-R, KOI8-U
+ We implement this because it appears to be the predominant encoding
+ on Unix in Russia and Ukraine, respectively.
+ * KOI8-RU
+ We implement this because MSIE4 supports it.
+ * KOI8-T
+ We implement this because it is the locale encoding in glibc's Tajik
+ locale.
+ * CP{1250,1251,1252,1253,1254,1255,1256,1257}
+ We implement these because they are the predominant Windows encodings
+ in Europe.
+ * CP850
+ We implement this because it is mentioned as occurring in the web
+ in the aforementioned statistics.
+ * CP862
+ We implement this because Ron Aaron says it is sometimes used in web
+ pages and emails.
+ * CP866
+ We implement this because Netscape Communicator does.
+ * Mac{Roman,CentralEurope,Croatian,Romania,Cyrillic,Greek,Turkish} and
+ Mac{Hebrew,Arabic}
+ We implement these because the Sun JDK does, and because Mac users
+ don't deserve to be punished.
+ * Macintosh
+ We implement this because it is mentioned as occurring in the web
+ in the aforementioned statistics.
+ Japanese
+ * EUC-JP, SHIFT_JIS, ISO-2022-JP
+ We implement these because they are widely used. EUC-JP and SHIFT_JIS
+ are more used for files, whereas ISO-2022-JP is recommended for email.
+ * CP932
+ We implement this because it is the Microsoft variant of SHIFT_JIS,
+ used on Windows.
+ * ISO-2022-JP-2
+ We implement this because it's the common way to represent mails which
+ make use of JIS X 0212 characters.
+ * ISO-2022-JP-1
+ We implement this because it's in the RFCs, but I don't think it is
+ really used.
+ * U90, S90
+ We DON'T implement this because I have no informations about what it
+ is or who uses it.
+ Simplified Chinese
+ * EUC-CN = GB2312
+ We implement this because it is the widely used representation
+ of simplified Chinese.
+ * GBK
+ We implement this because it appears to be used on Solaris and Windows.
+ * GB18030
+ We implement this because it is an official requirement in the
+ People's Republic of China.
+ * ISO-2022-CN
+ We implement this because it is in the RFCs, but I have no idea
+ whether it is really used.
+ * ISO-2022-CN-EXT
+ We implement this because it's in the RFCs, but I don't think it is
+ really used.
+ * HZ = HZ-GB-2312
+ We implement this because the RFCs recommend it for Usenet postings,
+ and because MSIE4 supports it.
+ Traditional Chinese
+ * EUC-TW
+ We implement it because it appears to be used on Unix.
+ * BIG5
+ We implement it because it is the de-facto standard for traditional
+ Chinese.
+ * CP950
+ We implement this because it is the Microsoft variant of BIG5, used
+ on Windows.
+ * BIG5+
+ We DON'T implement this because it doesn't appear to be in wide use.
+ Only the CWEX fonts use this encoding. Furthermore, the conversion
+ tables in the big5p package are not coherent: If you convert directly,
+ you get different results than when you convert via GBK.
+ * BIG5-HKSCS
+ We implement it because it is the de-facto standard for traditional
+ Chinese in Hongkong.
+ Korean
+ * EUC-KR
+ We implement these because they appear to be the widely used
+ representations for Korean.
+ * CP949
+ We implement this because it is the Microsoft variant of EUC-KR, used
+ on Windows.
+ * ISO-2022-KR
+ We implement it because it is in the RFCs and because MSIE4 supports
+ it, but I have no idea whether it's really used.
+ * JOHAB
+ We implement this because it is apparently used on Windows as a locale
+ encoding (codepage 1361).
+ * ISO-646-KR
+ We DON'T implement this because although an old ASCII variant, its
+ glyph for 0x7E is not clear: RFC 1345 and unicode.org's JOHAB.TXT
+ say it's a tilde, but Ken Lunde's "CJKV information processing" says
+ it's an overline. And it is not ISO-IR registered.
+ Armenian
+ * ARMSCII-8
+ We implement it because XFree86 supports it.
+ Georgian
+ * Georgian-Academy, Georgian-PS
+ We implement these because they appear to be both used for Georgian;
+ Xfree86 supports them.
+ Thai
+ * TIS-620
+ We implement this because it seems to be standard for Thai.
+ * CP874
+ We implement this because MSIE4 supports it.
+ * MacThai
+ We implement this because the Sun JDK does, and because Mac users
+ don't deserve to be punished.
+ Laotian
+ * MuleLao-1, CP1133
+ We implement these because XFree86 supports them. I have no idea which
+ one is used more widely.
+ Vietnamese
+ * VISCII, TCVN
+ We implement these because XFree86 supports them.
+ * CP1258
+ We implement this because MSIE4 supports it.
+ Other languages
+ * NUNACOM-8 (Inuktitut)
+ We DON'T implement this because it isn't part of Unicode yet, and
+ therefore doesn't convert to anything except itself.
+ Platform specifics
+ * HP-ROMAN8, NEXTSTEP
+ We implement these because they were the native character set on HPs
+ and NeXTs for a long time, and libiconv is intended to be usable on
+ these old machines.
+ Full Unicode
+ * UTF-8, UCS-2, UCS-4
+ We implement these. Obviously.
+ * UCS-2BE, UCS-2LE, UCS-4BE, UCS-4LE
+ We implement these because they are the preferred internal
+ representation of strings in Unicode aware applications. These are
+ non-ambiguous names, known to glibc. (glibc doesn't have
+ UCS-2-INTERNAL and UCS-4-INTERNAL.)
+ * UTF-16, UTF-16BE, UTF-16LE
+ We implement these, because UTF-16 is still the favourite encoding of
+ the president of the Unicode Consortium (for political reasons), and
+ because they appear in RFC 2781.
+ * UTF-32, UTF-32BE, UTF-32LE
+ We implement these because they are part of Unicode 3.1.
+ * UTF-7
+ We implement this because it is essential functionality for mail
+ applications.
+ * C99
+ We implement it because it's used for C and C++ programs and because
+ it's a nice encoding for debugging.
+ * JAVA
+ We implement it because it's used for Java programs and because it's
+ a nice encoding for debugging.
+ * UNICODE (big endian), UNICODEFEFF (little endian)
+ We DON'T implement these because they are stupid and not standardized.
+ Full Unicode, in terms of `uint16_t' or `uint32_t'
+ (with machine dependent endianness and alignment)
+ * UCS-2-INTERNAL, UCS-4-INTERNAL
+ We implement these because they are the preferred internal
+ representation of strings in Unicode aware applications.
+
+Q: Support encodings mentioned in RFC 1345 ?
+A: No, they are not in use any more. Supporting ISO-646 variants is pointless
+ since ISO-8859-* have been adopted.
+
+Q: Support EBCDIC ?
+A: No!
+
+Q: How do I add a new character set?
+A: 1. Explain the "why" in this file, above.
+ 2. You need to have a conversion table from/to Unicode. Transform it into
+ the format used by the mapping tables found on ftp.unicode.org: each line
+ contains the character code, in hex, with 0x prefix, then whitespace,
+ then the Unicode code point, in hex, 4 hex digits, with 0x prefix. '#'
+ counts as a comment delimiter until end of line.
+ Please also send your table to Mark Leisher <mleisher@crl.nmsu.edu> so he
+ can include it in his collection.
+ 3. If it's an 8-bit character set, use the '8bit_tab_to_h' program in the
+ tools directory to generate the C code for the conversion. You may tweak
+ the resulting C code if you are not satisfied with its quality, but this
+ is rarely needed.
+ If it's a two-dimensional character set (with rows and columns), use the
+ 'cjk_tab_to_h' program in the tools directory to generate the C code for
+ the conversion. You will need to modify the main() function to recognize
+ the new character set name, with the proper dimensions, but that shouldn't
+ be too hard. This yields the CCS. The CES you have to write by hand.
+ 4. Store the resulting C code file in the lib directory. Add a #include
+ directive to converters.h, and add an entry to the encodings.def file.
+ 5. Compile the package, and test your new encoding using a program like
+ iconv(1) or clisp(1).
+ 6. Augment the testsuite: Add a line to each of tests/Makefile.in,
+ tests/Makefile.msvc and tests/Makefile.os2. For a stateless encoding,
+ create the complete table as a TXT file. For a stateful encoding,
+ provide a text snippet encoded using your new encoding and its UTF-8
+ equivalent.
+ 7. Update the README and man/iconv_open.3, to mention the new encoding.
+ Add a note in the NEWS file.
+
+Q: What about bidirectional text? Should it be tagged or reversed when
+ converting from ISO-8859-8 or ISO-8859-6 to Unicode? Qt appears to do
+ this, see qt-2.0.1/src/tools/qrtlcodec.cpp.
+A: After reading RFC 1556: I don't think so. Support for ISO-8859-8-I and
+ ISO-8859-E remains to be implemented.
+ On the other hand, a page on www.w3c.org says that ISO-8859-8 in *email*
+ is visually encoded, ISO-8859-8 in *HTML* is logically encoded, i.e.
+ the same as ISO-8859-8-I. I'm confused.
+
+Other character sets not implemented:
+"MNEMONIC" = "csMnemonic"
+"MNEM" = "csMnem"
+"ISO-10646-UCS-Basic" = "csUnicodeASCII"
+"ISO-10646-Unicode-Latin1" = "csUnicodeLatin1" = "ISO-10646"
+"ISO-10646-J-1"
+"UNICODE-1-1" = "csUnicode11"
+"csWindows31Latin5"
+
+Other aliases not implemented (and not implemented in glibc-2.1 either):
+ From MSIE4:
+ ISO-8859-1: alias ISO8859-1
+ ISO-8859-2: alias ISO8859-2
+ KSC_5601: alias KS_C_5601
+ UTF-8: aliases UNICODE-1-1-UTF-8 UNICODE-2-0-UTF-8
+
+
+Q: How can I integrate libiconv into my package?
+A: Just copy the entire libiconv package into a subdirectory of your package.
+ At configuration time, call libiconv's configure script with the
+ appropriate --srcdir option and maybe --enable-static or --disable-shared.
+ Then "cd libiconv && make && make install-lib libdir=... includedir=...".
+ 'install-lib' is a special (not GNU standardized) target which installs
+ only the include file - in $(includedir) - and the library - in $(libdir) -
+ and does not use other directory variables. After "installing" libiconv
+ in your package's build directory, building of your package can proceed.
+
+Q: Why is the testsuite so big?
+A: Because some of the tests are very comprehensive.
+ If you don't feel like using the testsuite, you can simply remove the
+ tests/ directory.
+