[Rd] Unicode display problem with data frames under Windows

Duncan Murdoch murdoch.duncan at gmail.com
Mon May 25 21:35:03 CEST 2015

On 25/05/2015 3:12 PM, Peter Meissner wrote:
> Am .05.2015, 18:43 Uhr, schrieb Duncan Murdoch <murdoch.duncan at gmail.com>:
> > On 25/05/2015 11:37 AM, Ista Zahn wrote:
> >> AFAIK this is the way it works on Windows. It has been discussed in
> >> several
> >> places, e.g.
> >> http://stackoverflow.com/questions/17715956/why-do-some-unicode-characters-display-in-matrices-but-not-data-frames-in-r
> >> ,
> >> http://stackoverflow.com/questions/17715956/why-do-some-unicode-characters-display-in-matrices-but-not-data-frames-in-r
> >> (both of these came up when I googled the subject line of your email).
> >
> > Yes, but it is a bug, just a hard one to fix.  It needs someone to
> > dedicate a serious amount of time to deal with it.
> >
> > Since most of the people who tend to do that generally use systems in
> > UTF-8 locales where this isn't a problem, or don't use Windows, it is
> > languishing.
> >
> > Duncan Murdoch
> I understand that these problems are not easy to fix but ...
> I think that
> "most of the people who tend to do that generally use systems in UTF-8
> locales"
> is a biased perception. Developers might tend to use Mac or Linux most
> often. For others Windows still is and probably will be the OS most often
> used. For most of them switching to something else is a major hurdle.
> What I often witness is that those non existent Windows users try to
> muddle through with numerous calls to Encoding() , iconv() and the like
> while at the same time never being sure if the strange behavior is due to
> their lack of understanding, Windows specifics or due to R. In the end
> they either succeed with their muddling or give up,  - but do not change
> the system.
> So whoever might attempt the Hercules task will be praised by thousands ;-)
I'm not sure we disagree.  R is a volunteer project, and the things that 
get done are the things that someone volunteers to do.  But in this 
particular case, the volunteer needs a lot of knowledge about R 
internals to make progress, and there just aren't that many people like 
that.   They are all "developers".

If you aren't one of those people, you need to motivate one of them to 
volunteer to take this on.  I don't think a financial contribution would 
work, but people do return favours:  so do something that makes one of 
the developers' lives a lot easier, and then point out how this 
particular bug is causing trouble for you, and maybe they'll choose to 
return the favour.

Duncan Murdoch

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