Gnome2 UTF-8 handling

Scott Oonk s.oonk at
Mon Nov 24 19:38:44 CST 2003


I offered to help with the gnome2 port and David Hampton suggested I
look at making gnucash work better with utf-8.  Not really knowing
anything about utf-8, I did a bit of googling, and now need some of
guidance on how to proceed.  

From what I can see, GNUCash currently takes input from the user in
whatever character set they are using, converts it to a "wide character
set" (GdkWChar) for internal calculations, then converts back to the
users character set for output.  

However, the Gtk2/Gnome2 widgets are now all designed to work on utf-8
strings.  Which means any input we receive from these widgets is already
converted from the users character set to utf-8 for us.  Any place we
accept input from the user we need to treat the input as utf-8 instead
of whatever character set the user is using.  Likewise, any output we
send, we need to pass as a utf-8 encoded string and the Gtk2 widgets
translate back to the users character set.

I see two ways of going about this:

1.)  Continue using the "wide character set" internally, and just
convert the user input from utf-8 to wide characters.

2.)  Get rid of the "wide character set" and use utf-8 for the user I/O
as well as the internal calculations.

In my opinion, option 2 seems to be a cleaner solution, though it would
be a bit more work.

According to David, the main places this impacts is the register gui
code and the reading/writing of the xml data file.  I poked around the
register code a bit and have a fair idea of the work needed to be done
there, but I don't really know which of the two options would be best. 


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