Encodings per buddy for IRC

Ethan Blanton elb at pidgin.im
Sat Nov 24 10:49:44 EST 2007

Mark Doliner spake unto us the following wisdom:
> On Tue, 20 Nov 2007 16:11:18 +0200, Martin Ott wrote
> > While reading the recent "Unicode characters" thread, it flashed to 
> > me that often I would need different encodings for separate channels 
> > on one server (using one nick). That way there have been formed out 
> > certain channels, where I need one encoding or another. Plus there 
> > are certain group of irc nicks, where one charset is needed or another.
> So, uh, out of curiosity, is there any reason these channels aren't using
> UTF-8?  If everyone used UTF-8 for everything you wouldn't be having this
> problem, right?

That's not really reasonable.  There *are* IRC communities which
standardized some time ago on non-UTF-8 encodings, and have not yet
(or not yet completely) made the switch.  As an example, *most*
Japanese IRC is still done in ISO-2022-JP.  To further complicate
matters there, there are *also* UTF-8 Japanese channels (though many
of these were created by non-native speakers who either simply didn't
know any better, or have the UTF-8 religion).

Wanting multiple encodings for IRC is understandable.  The only reason
we don't have it, is that no one has come forth with a comprehensible
way to configure and maintain these encodings.  Existing clients do a
horrible job, as is testified by the innumerable web pages explaining
how to get particular encodings working for particular channels or

My position has long been that I think we should accept a patch which
implements a reasonable and coherent *mechanism*, even with a
rudimentary UI, but I would prefer to see an understandable and
comprehensive interface eventually, at least.  (Proposals to date have
included right-click menus on the buddy list, conversation menus for
buddies and chats, and account dialog options.)


The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws [that have no remedy
for evils].  They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor
determined to commit crimes.
		-- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
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