[erlang-questions] a surprising atom

Dave Smith <>
Wed Oct 22 22:25:24 CEST 2008


I took a quick look at EEP-10 and there seems to be no mention of how
Unicode atoms would be represented, or if they would be at all.  Currently
I  have my terminal settings to Latin-1 so I get what Ulf gets.

EEP-10 has unicode lists stored as UTF-32, but does not mention how lists
will be output to the terminal from the interactive shell.   I would favour
a UTF-8 output.  For consistancy though, I think that the shell should also
convert atoms to UTF-8, even if they are stored as Latin-1.  If this was the
case, list_to_atom([255]) would show ÿ properly with my terminal set to
UTF-8.  The shell would be responsible for converting Latin-1(FF) to
UTF-8(C3 BF).  Having the interactive shell output all terms consistantly as
UTF-8 would allow me to set my terminal to UTF-8 and everything would
display correctly.

Any thoughts?

2008/10/22 Matthew Dempsky <>

> On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 11:36 AM, Ulf Wiger <> wrote:
> > I think that has to do with your tty settings. For me it's:
>
> I think the emphasis was on atoms being arbitrary strings.
>
> > 11> list_to_atom([255]).
> > ÿ
>
> Your terminal is broken.  It's using ISO 8859-1 when it should be
> using UTF-8.  ;-)
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