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UTF-8 support in mIRC #142347 17/02/06 10:58 PM
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Krejt Offline OP
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As you might have noticed Khaled added support for display of UTF-8 text as unicode to mIRC 6.17. This works in status, channel, query, and other windows, and in nickname listboxes, window titlebars, switchbar, and tooltips. It does not (yet) work for dialogs such as Options, Chat, Send, etc. since this would require making mIRC 100% unicode. The current changes already required recoding of significant parts of mIRC's display, text-wrapping, and mark/copy routines.

The UTF-8 support is new for us (and mIRC) and therefore still somewhat "experimental"... Your feedback on it would be appreciated!

The display of UTF-8 can be enabled by default for all windows in the Options/IRC/Messages dialog, or individually for any window you like via the Fonts dialog. Use the /font command to open the fonts dialog. Make sure you select a font that contains the characters or script (hebrew, arabic, greek, cyrillic,...) you want to see!

mIRC does not convert incoming UTF-8 into the local codepage. Server text is stored internally unchanged. This enables mIRC (scripts, etc.) to work fully with UTF-8 IRC servers that allow UTF-8 in channel and nick names. See <a href="irc://irc.unilang.org/" target="_blank">irc.unilang.org</a> for a fully enabled UTF-8 server.


The Fonts dialog also has an "Encode" option that encodes outgoing text in UTF-8 based on the script/codepage selected for that window. The Encode feature is selective, ie. it only encodes the parts of an outgoing message that are not already in UTF-8 format. If it sees a server (such as irc.unilang.org) which has CHARSET=utf-8 it will Encode the whole line, from start to end. If it sees a non-utf-8 server, it encodes the text after the : colon in the following outgoing messages: PRIVMSG, NOTICE, PART, TOPIC. You can also type unicode text in the editbox. To limit effects on non-UTF8 users, the unicode editbox only works when the UTF-8 Encode option is enabled for a window via the font dialog.

Of course also some UTF-8 related idfentifiers like $utfencode(), $utfdecode() and $isutf() have been added for scripters to play with.

Have lots of fun playing with this new feature!

Krejt.

Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142348 17/02/06 11:05 PM
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xyz Offline
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Thanks one more time for this feature. Been waiting this one now for some time laugh

Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142349 17/02/06 11:43 PM
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Mentality Offline
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Whoo! Here's a little newbie FAQ I've written to help people who are perhaps a little confused by it all. It's been put up at www.mirc.net/newbie/unicode.php but I figured I'd include a copy here :-)

---
What is Unicode?

Unicode is a way for all kinds of text to be displayed across the Internet. You will find that complex characters, such as those used in Chinese, Japanese and Korean writing, will not display with the current character encoding, ASCII. You'll get a bunch of black boxes or question marks in place of the actual characters. Unicode means that people can communicate on IRC in their own language, or (just for fun) use weird symbols they couldn't use before, both in their messages and in nicknames. Due to the extremely fast growth of Internet popularity, and indeed the diversity of those that use mIRC, Unicode is becoming an extremely popular feature in many programmes.

For these characters to appear in nicknames or channels, the IRC server you're connected to must support it. At this time, very few IRC servers do. This does NOT however affect your ability to send/receive text.

What is UTF-8?

UTF-8 is basically what makes these Unicode characters able to display on your screen. UTF stands for Unicode Transformation Format. The "8" shows that it's an 8-bit character encoding. It uses 1-4 bytes for each character. There are other character encodings for Unicode, such as UTF-7, UTF-16 and UTF-32. These are either obsolete or simply unpopular (and unnecessary), with UTF-8 being the usual chosen standard for translating Unicode. It is also backwards compatible with ASCII, which just means that it fully supports ASCII AND Unicode.

How does this affect my mIRC?

UTF-8 support was added in mIRC version 6.17. This version, or higher, must be used for these characters to display correctly. Support has been added to status, channel, query and DCC windows, as well as the nicklist, titlebar, switchbar and tool tips. Various other windows have also got support for display/encoding of UTF-8 text.

For the average English-speaking user (or anyone else who uses a language that displays fine with ASCII), there's not a huge change. You probably won't need to enable UTF-8 support. However, others may still try to speak to you with their own language and therefore use Unicode characters. If you want to view these characters correctly, rather than them appearing as black boxes, you can enable UTF-8 support. There is no harm in doing so whether you intend to use it or not. Assuming UTF-8 support becomes more widely implemented on IRC servers, this may become a more essential feature in the future.

How can I use this in mIRC?

This feature is enabled by default. However, should you need to enable it for some reason, go to Tools > Options > IRC > Messages and check the box saying 'UTF-8 display'. Individual window support is also available via the Fonts dialog. Right click on the channel name in the switchbar and click on 'Font...' and from the drop down list choose 'Display and encode' or 'Display only'.

Note, mIRC the application does not support Unicode, it can only display it or encode outgoing messages into it in IRC channel windows, or DCC chat windows, etc. Therefore, Unicode characters will not display correctly in various text boxes throughout mIRC, such as the ones found in the Address Book, /uwho or the Options dialog. For characters to display correctly in the editbox, you will need to enable the 'Multibyte editbox' option, again in Tools > Options > IRC > Messages.

It is worth noting that enabling 'UTF-8 Display' in the options dialog will not automatically make your messages encoded to UTF-8 - you need to enable this separately in the Font dialog, by choosing 'Display and encode' from the dropdown menu.

Will this affect my scripts?

Not really. Protection scripts which ban "$nick" will work fine as usual, as with any other identifiers or scripts which set variables containing nicknames, text or channel names or uses such data in other ways.

Has extra support been added in scripting related to UTF-8?

Of course! Three identifiers have been added should you need them - $utfencode, $utfdecode and $isutf.

$utfencode and $utfdecode will encode/decode given text respectively. $isutf returns a numerical value based on the state of the provided text, where 0 means the text is not UTF-8, 1 means it is plaintext (e.g. just normal English characters), and 2 means it is UTF-8 text (e.g. Chinese/Japanese/Korean writing, but could be many other languages too).

Okay, so why does it not display right on the network I use?

Text should display fine, provided you have UTF-8 enabled and are using mIRC 6.17 or above. You cannot include Unicode chars in nicknames or channel names however, unless the server you use supports UTF-8. You will notice that a bunch of jargon text appears when you connect to IRC - part of this is the settings for the server, for example, the max number of channels you can join (MAXCHANS=15) or the max length of topics (TOPICLEN=400). If you see "CHARSET=utf-8", then nicknames and channels should show up fine. If it does not (and none of the major networks do support it), then you are limited to text only. For an example of a network which does support CHARSET=utf-8 though, try /server irc.unilang.org.

Furthermore, the font you use within mIRC may not be able to display Unicode characters correctly. Fixedsys, mIRC's default font, is a poor choice for Unicode display. There is no specific "Unicode font", but there are a number of current fonts which are deemed acceptable (all of which should be available in your default Font dialog, View > Font):

Lucida Sans Unicode
Times New Roman
Arial
Courier
Impact
Shruti
MS Gothic
Bitstream Cyberbit (not available by default)

Bitstream Cyberbit is available from http://ftp.netscape.com/pub/communicator/extras/fonts/windows/Cyberbit.ZIP, and documentation concerning it can be found at http://ftp.netscape.com/pub/communicator/extras/fonts/windows/ReadMe.htm

Fonts vary in their ability to encode/display Unicode, but the ones mentioned above are popular choices, and you should not run in to too many problems.

Where can I get more information?

Plenty of information is available on the web, including these good links:

http://www.unicode.org/ - The Unicode homepage.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicode - Wikipedia article on Unicode.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTF-8 - Wikipedia article on UTF-8.
http://www.microsoft.com/typography/default.mspx - Microsoft's Typography website.
http://www.google.com - A brilliant search engine!
---

If you have something not too advanced to add, a correction to any wrong information (I'm no guru!) or anything else to say, please send me a private message rather than fill up this thread. Cheers!

Regards,


Mentality/Chris
Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142350 18/02/06 10:51 AM
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Adrenalin Offline
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Great tut Mentality !
I have find the default mIRC Font Fixedsys with support of unicode ! It's called Fixedsys Excelsior and it look exactly like the default one.. But with support of unicode(of course it doesn't support all language like the 6mb Bitstream Cyberbit).
The lastest version what i was able to find is 2.0.

The official site seem to be dead/down(but still a archive copy here), the last author message on the board, date 06-08-2004, he said what a new version will be released in a month, but it seem to be 2006 now, and no new version..

Unicode ranges:
On this site i find what Fixedsys Excelsior 1.3 support(i was unable to find other sources for v. 2.0):
Basic Latin; Latin-1 Supplement; Latin Extended-A; Latin Extended-B; IPA Extensions; Spacing Modifier Letters; Combining Diacritical Marks; Greek; Cyrillic; Armenian; Hebrew; Arabic; Thai; Latin Extended Additional; Greek Extended; General Punctuation; Superscripts and Subscripts; Currency Symbols; Combining Diacritical Marks for Symbols; Letterlike Symbols; Number Forms; Arrows; Mathematical Operators; Miscellaneous Technical; Control Pictures; Optical Character Recognition; Enclosed Alphanumerics; Box Drawing; Block Elements; Geometric Shapes; Miscellaneous Symbols; Dingbats; CJK Symbols and Punctuation; Hiragana; Katakana; Alphabetic Presentation Forms; Arabic Presentation Forms-A; Small Form Variants; Arabic Presentation Forms-B; Halfwidth and Fullwidth Forms; Specials; Ethiopic; Cherokee; Ogham; Runic; Mongolian; Braille Patterns

Download:
http://childes.psy.cmu.edu/tools/fixedsys.zip

Also i make some mirrors, just in case..
http://irc.server.md/fixedsys.zip
http://asachi.host.sk/fixedsys.zip
http://www.metawire.org/~adrenalin/fixedsys.zip

Installation of the font:
To install the font you must copy the fsex2p00_public.ttf from fixedsys.zip archive to the fonts dir from windows directory.
Click start->run type: fonts, the fonts directory will be opened. Copy the fsex2p00_public.ttf to this directory.
Now you can select the font from mIRC Font box.

Flash Video instalation of the font and activate UTF-8 for Channels and Private Messages Windows:
http://irc.server.md/mirc_utf8.htm (533kb)


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Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142351 18/02/06 04:13 PM
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raZOR Offline
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i still dont understand 1 thing

on 6.17 i use Verdana font with western encoding, i set in font options Display and Encode.

now i typed some letters from my language in mirc 6.03
i my channel, it shows them weird (thats ok) but mirc 6.17 also received those char's as weird...

BUT when i typed them in 6.17, then 6.17 showed them ok...

so does this means that 6.17 can receive(display) such char's right ONLY if 6.17 communicates with 6.17 ?

Last edited by raZOR; 18/02/06 04:15 PM.

IceCapped
Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142352 19/02/06 07:33 PM
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Adrenalin Offline
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Quote:
so does this means that 6.17 can receive(display) such char's right ONLY if 6.17 communicates with 6.17 ?

That's right, when the encode option are activated, mIRC encode all the special chars to UTF-8, so only a utf-8 compatible client(like mIRC 6.17 or XChat) can decode and display it correcly.


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Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142353 19/02/06 11:25 PM
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Hm, yes, the only languages for which UTF-8 is compatible with the old encodings are those which only use the letters A-Z, primarily English.

For all other languages, everyone needs to be able to at least read the same character sets.

One way to make this happen is to ensure that everyone on Windows uses mIRC 6.17 and has UTF-8 on. The alternative is for everyone to use the old encodings, but this in turn creates compatibility problems between languages and between users of Windows and Linux/Mac OS X.

I can only say that I hope people will try Unicode out... It's quite handy once one gets used to it!

Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142354 20/02/06 12:44 PM
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Doqnach Offline
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strange thing is that I can't get UTF-8 to work at all between irssi v0.8.10 and mIRC...

the irssi client is set to full utf-8 support (it's someone elses client, we were testing the UTF-8 of mIRC together).
between irssi clients it works fine but my mIRC still displays junk :-P

I have the channel set to display + encode, have utf-8 display turned on aswell as multibyte display.
my font is courier new (also tried with courier and bitstream cyberbit)

I also have asian languages support installed (winxp sp2)

I can't seem to get it to work at all and can't find what I'm doing wrong :-/


If it ain't broken, don't fix it!
Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142355 20/02/06 03:19 PM
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Adrenalin Offline
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Hm, it seem what XChat undestand well mIRC's unicode.
I think the problem is in irssi.



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Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142356 20/02/06 06:35 PM
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Probably. Actually, irssi users seem to have problems with Unicode quite often, either because of their terminal emulator, or because of screen, which they use keep irssi online when they log off, or because of configuration problems. There basically seem to be a lot of sources for potential error with that particular combination of software.

One way of testing this would of course be to repeat the experiment with irssi and X-Chat... Most likely the same problem will appear.

Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142357 01/03/06 02:31 AM
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Adrenalin, I installed Fixedsys Excelsior ver2.0
but unfortunately, while i can select almost any "script", the only one i'm interested in, Japanese, is missing.
Strange since Excelsior apparently supports Japanese!?
Does Japanese show up for you in the script list?

Also, I _am_ able to get Japanese with the original Fixedsys by using AppLocale. [ http://alcahest.club.fr/perso/apploc/ircafter.jpg ]
I wonder why it's not possible to do so with the new mIRC (withoug using AppLocale).

Thanks for your support.

TSR
you can check AppLocale here http://alcahest.club.fr/perso/apploc/applocale.html

Last edited by TheShadowRunner; 01/03/06 02:51 AM.
Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142358 01/03/06 09:20 AM
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MeGaA Offline
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! mad

Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142359 01/03/06 11:13 AM
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Doqnach Offline
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I got it too work now!

you need to select the script type at the font window...

though I still can't see the utf-8 norwegian stuff that get's thrown at me :-P

but I can see and write japanese ;-]


If it ain't broken, don't fix it!
Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142360 01/03/06 11:31 AM
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what font are you using Doqnach?

Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142361 23/03/06 06:13 PM
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hey adrenalin, do you what font that is in the xchat client?

Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142362 24/03/06 01:48 PM
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Adrenalin Offline
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Quote:
hey adrenalin, do you what font that is in the xchat client?


The XChat standart one(Monospace size 9), i think that font is XChat built-in because i can't found it in mIRC font list..

Maybe it is here http://savannah.nongnu.org/projects/freefont/ ?


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Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142363 24/03/06 02:48 PM
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nope cant seem to find it anywhere, if anyone has Monospace font, could they upload it?

thanks alot!

Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142364 20/04/06 12:19 AM
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It seems like there's a bug in mIRC when you use the special character "" in your timestamps. If you use the middledot it screws up any special UTF-8 characters like "".

I posted it as a bug in the bug forum.

@Pouncer

You can get the Monospace font here.

Last edited by Grue; 20/04/06 12:19 AM.
Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142365 11/06/06 02:29 AM
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I am the creator of Fixedsys Excelsior. The last public release was 2.00, but since that time I had added hundreds of new characters and improved the Cyrillic and Armenian ranges greatly. Unfortunately, I lost all my additions and changes a long time ago and because mIRC with Unicode seemed so impossible (well, we waited a while!) I gave up. Now that I have learned mIRC has Unicode support, I will gladly resume the project. Please let me know if you have any specific requests for character inclusion or changes. You can contact me at gmail.com (name Valentinium). Considering how it went this time I wont make any promises, but I think it is reasonably possible that I could release an improved version in one month.

I am very happy people use it, thank you for that.

--Darien

Re: UTF-8 support in mIRC #142366 14/06/06 07:54 PM
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Krejt Offline OP
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Ah, so you created Fixedsys Excelsior! Good job! Thanks!

Yup, an update of your font would be appreciated a lot, especially by me since I still use the Fixedsys a lot.

Tjerk.

Last edited by Krejt; 14/06/06 08:09 PM.
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