Copyright (C) 1993 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this manual provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.
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recode program has the purpose of converting files between
various character sets and usages. When exact transliterations are not
possible, as it is often the case, the program may get rid of the offending
characters or fall back on approximations.
Let us coin the term charset to represent, without distinction, a character set "per se" or a particular usage of a character set. This program recognizes or produces around 150 such charsets. Since it can convert each charset to almost any other one, many thousands of different conversions are possible.
This tool pays special attention to superimposition of diacritics for French representation. This orientation is mostly historical, it does not impair the usefulness, generality or extensibility of the program.
Recoding is currently possible between most of the charsets described in RFC 1435. See section Charsets from RFC 1345.
Recode also handles some charsets in more specialized ways. These are:
The recent introduction of RFC 1345 in GNU
recode has brought
with it a few charsets having the functionnality of older ones, but yet
being different in subtle ways. The effects have not been fully
investigated yet, so for now, clashes are avoided, the old and new
charsets are kept well separate. For example, wizards would be
interested in comparing the output of these two commands:
recode -vh ibmpc:applemac recode -vh ibm437:macintosh
The first command uses only charsets prior to RFC 1345 introduction. Both methods give different recodings, the first also properly recodes end of lines. These differences are annoying, the fuziness will have to be explained and settle down one day.
Even being the
recode author and current maintainer, I am no
specialist in charset standards. I only made
recode along the
years to solve my own needs, but felt it was extendable for the needs of
others. Some GNU people liked the program structure and suggested to
make it more widely available. I rely on GNU users judgement for what
is best to be done next.
Properly protecting GNU
recode about possible copyright fights is
a pain for me and for contributors, but we cannot avoid addressing the
issue in the long run. Besides, the Free Software Foundation, which
mandates the GNU project, is very sensible to this matter. GNU
standards require that I be cautious before looking at copyrighted code.
The safest and simplest way for me is to gather ideas and reprogram them
anew, even if this might slow me down considerably. For contributions
going beyond a few lines of code here and there, the FSF definitely
requires employer disclaimers and copyright assignments.
Many users contributed to GNU
recode already, I am grateful to
them for their interest and involvement. Some suggestions can be
integrated quickly while some others have to be delayed, I have to draw
a line somewhere when time comes to make a new release, about what would
go in it and what would go in the next. Also, when you contribute
recode, please explain what it is about. Do
not take for granted that I know those charsets which are familiar to
you. Your explanations could well find their way into this
Mail suggestions, documentation errors and bug reports to
firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you prefer, directly to
Francois Pinard `email@example.com'. Do not be afraid to
report details, because this program is the mere aggregation of hundreds