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Thread: Nautilus not displaying Unicode characters

  1. #1

    Default Nautilus not displaying Unicode characters

    Hey all,
    I'm using openSUSE 11.2 with GNOME dual-booted with Windows 7, been installed from scratch for like a week. The bottom line is: Nautilus displays a series of matrices, "x"s and other symbols instead of characters in Hebrew.

    Screenshot:


    Now, it worked fine at the beginning but once I started installing updates it went. I installed a whole bunch of updates and programs so I don't know what changed it.
    The weird part is (as you can see in the screenshot) that the shortcut to the left of a Hebrew-named folder shows up correctly only the first time Nautilus opens after starting. So as soon as I closed the Nautilus window after taking the screenshot and reopened it, it also displayed like the others.
    The screenshot is of my ntfs Windows drive, however the problem occurs in my home folder as well.

    Here's my fstab anyway:
    Code:
    /dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST9160821AS_5MA727CM-part5 swap                 swap       defaults              0 0
    /dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST9160821AS_5MA727CM-part6 /                    ext4       acl,user_xattr        1 1
    /dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST9160821AS_5MA727CM-part7 /home                ext4       acl,user_xattr        1 2
    /dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST9160821AS_5MA727CM-part2 /windows/C           ntfs-3g    defaults,locale=en_US.UTF-8 0 0
    proc                 /proc                proc       defaults              0 0
    sysfs                /sys                 sysfs      noauto                0 0
    debugfs              /sys/kernel/debug    debugfs    noauto                0 0
    usbfs                /proc/bus/usb        usbfs      noauto                0 0
    devpts               /dev/pts             devpts     mode=0620,gid=5       0 0
    Any help would be extremely appreciated. This is driving me bonkers already!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Nautilus not displaying Unicode characters

    I suppose that in general it will display Unicode because even ASCII is a subset of Unicode (look at the .pdf, they are also Unicode). It does not display certain characters and, as I see it, because it does not have the fonts belonging to that range of characters. Could you check if you have a font for those characters installed?
    Henk van Velden

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Nautilus not displaying Unicode characters

    After reading your post again (maybe should have given it more attention first time ) it looks as if there is at least a font (as you show left). But those rectangles are normaly shown when no glyph is available (and they show the Unicode value in hex).

    What happens when you change the view from the fancy one to a more formal one in columns?
    Henk van Velden

  4. #4

    Default Re: Nautilus not displaying Unicode characters

    Thanks for the speedy response.
    The problem isn't with the view format, since it appears the same way using Icon, List or Compact view. I just reread my post ad I apparently forgot to mention that trying to rename any file to a Hebrew name, such as שלום.jpeg results in the following error message:
    "The item could not be renamed.
    The name "שלום.jpeg" is not valid. Please use a different name."
    Notice the word שלום appears correctly in the error message.
    Any other suggestions, please?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Nautilus not displaying Unicode characters

    Hm, it is all as foggy to me as for you I am afraid .

    Only thing is that I do not trust is the involvement of a non-Linux file system in this. Are you sure all this happens also on a pure and genuine Linux file system like ext4, ext3, ext2 or even Reiserfs?

    And going back to the basics. What about leaving out the silly file manager and doing a good old
    Code:
    ls -l
    from a terminal emulator?
    Henk van Velden

  6. #6

    Default Re: Nautilus not displaying Unicode characters

    Unfortunately, in terminal I also see just a series of question marks and x's instead of the filename so maybe it isn't a problem with Nautilus after all.
    Hebrew is, however, added as a secondary language in YaST/Lanuage (with en_US being my primary). Am I missing some settings somewhere?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Nautilus not displaying Unicode characters

    First I want to know if all these test are done on a Linux filesystem or not. I can can not comment on any usage of non-Linux filesystems.

    The fact that you have a language installed does not mean much to our problem imho. I know the whole is not as simple as one thinks at first. Maybe not even for me. To help both of us here some thoughts about the subject:

    . There is a difference between 'language' and 'characterss/script/alphabeth'. I e.g. have dutch installed as a language. This means that I (hope to) see messages, help windows, titles in buttons, in short all text on my desktop in dutch.

    . The characters used in these dutch texts are stored on the system as numbers. Now the characters used for dutch are in general the same as those used in english and their numbers are defined in ASCII, or by extension in ISO-9959-1, which again is a subset of Unicode.

    . When these characters are displayed on a screen (or paper) there must be glyphs connected to each of those numbers, those glyphs are gathered into sets we call fonts in short. When there is no font, the number may be on disk, but it can not be displayed correct.

    . How do we get those numbers into the system? That is often done using a keyboard and as you are aware of (I suppose you are able to enter Hebrew via a keyboard) there are different solutions for that: special keyboards, special key-bindings.

    . Storage. How do we store the numbers? ASCII is simple, nowadays an ASCII character (0 -127) is stored in a byte and the first bit is unused. This is also true if ISO-9959-1 characters are stored as ISO-9959-1 (sounds strange, but the splitting between character table and encoding is still not there in the different ISO-9959-x standards), but the whole byte (0 - 255) is used.
    Unicode can not be stored in one byte for most of the characters. Thus encoding is needed, UTF-8 is the one we are talking about. When you encode in UTF-8 even the second half of the ISO-9959-1 set (128 - 255) is encoded in two bytes, thus there is allready a difference between een in ISO-9959-1 encoding (235) and UTF-8 (195:171).

    . Nowadays Linux is very much Unicode/UTF-8. That not only means that editors, etc. generate these as you type, but also that the filesystems store the names of directories/files in it. That does not mean that there may not be file systems that still uses a one-byte-per-character encoding and thus accomodate at most the ISO-9959-x sets.
    I remember someone having an old Linux filesystem with this problem and I have no idea which MS files sytems and from when on do or do not support Unicode/UTF-8.

    The above is of course a lot of theoretics, But they do not explain why you sometimes see filenames correctly displayed and sometimes not by the same program on the same place (if a recapitulate your experience correct).
    The fact that ls shows strange characters would suggest to me that there are Unocode/UTF-8 filenames, but that ls is not aware of it (interpreting the individual bytes). Which would lead me to the idea that the file system is advertised (at mount time) as being NOT Unicode/UTF-8, but in fact it is. That would be strange with a Linux fs (but I could understand this with a non-linux fs where you have to arange this by mounting correct).
    Henk van Velden

  8. #8

    Default Re: Nautilus not displaying Unicode characters

    Thanks for the lengthy reply.
    I copied the content's of the folder shown in the first screenshot to a new directory on my Linux drive just to make 100% sure.
    Here's a new screenshot of the new folder:



    As you can see, same problem occurs here (also when checking in terminal with "ls -l" as you suggested earlier). I also recreated the error message I spoke about earlier and as you can see in the shortcut frame to the left the previously Hebrew shortcut now become matrices.
    Thanks again for taking the time to help me.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Nautilus not displaying Unicode characters

    I jst did something that must be similar to what you did. I made a file with Devanagri characters as file name. It shows as
    Code:
    henk@boven:~/vreemd> ls -l
    totaal 0
    -rw-r--r-- 1 henk wij 0 mei  7 12:08 धआ
    henk@boven:~/vreemd>
    And when I use the file manager (Dolphin in KDE4) it shows also correct.
    Henk van Velden

  10. #10

    Default Re: Nautilus not displaying Unicode characters

    Did you fix it somehow?

    Another thought: Does my problem have to with the System/Environment/Language settings in etc/sysconfig at all? I'm kinda shooting blind in the dark here. I have no clue what to try anymore.
    Can anybody else maybe think of something?

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