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[tlug] Character encoding stuff

Brian Chandler writes:

 > I write bits of my website in PHP,

"I ... will ... not ... say ... it!"[1]

 > (1) In particular, when scraping jigsaw puzzle manufacturer websites, I 
 > want to know what characters I'm looking at. Things like "Is that cross 
 > a *multiplication sign, *lowercase-x, *capital-X, *zenkaku-x, 
 > *zenkaku-X, or who knows what (х for example, and I managed to type that 
 > one in).

Emacs: C-x =
Python's unicode_database module.

 > (2) I user gedit, which is sort of fine, but it does Really Stupid 
 > (sorry, I mean "clever") display tricks, trying to guess how things 
 > should be shown depending on surrounding characters.

This is a generic problem, not limited to gedit.  In Emacsen you can
configure your font preferences to great degree, which usually means
you can get the display you want.  However, as long as you really want
a text editor, and no wysiwyg at all, just configure gedit to use a
wide-repertoire font such as Cyberbit.

[1]  A beer the next time I'm at TLUG for the first person to identify
who said that, and why he didn't need to, as it turned out.  And
another for the first person (if different) who can say what it was
that he didn't say.  (Hint: it wasn't "friends don't let friends use
PHP".  Oops, I said it after all! :-)

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