GNU bug report logs - #26362
multibyte: tr: "tr -cd" -- Problem with UTF-8?

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Package: coreutils; Severity: wishlist; Reported by: Ronald Schaten <ronald@HIDDEN>; Keywords: notabug; dated Tue, 4 Apr 2017 15:25:02 UTC; Maintainer for coreutils is bug-coreutils@HIDDEN.
Changed bug title to 'multibyte: tr: "tr -cd" -- Problem with UTF-8?' from 'tr -cd -- Problem with UTF-8?' Request was from Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN> to control <at> debbugs.gnu.org. Full text available.
Severity set to 'wishlist' from 'normal' Request was from Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN> to control <at> debbugs.gnu.org. Full text available.
Added tag(s) notabug. Request was from Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN> to control <at> debbugs.gnu.org. Full text available.

Message received at 26362 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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Subject: Re: bug#26362: tr -cd -- Problem with UTF-8?
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tags 26362 notabug wishlist
stop 26362

Hello,

> On Apr 4, 2017, at 10:01, Ronald Schaten <ronald@HIDDEN> =
wrote:
>=20
> I'm not sure if this is bug or if I'm using it wrong.

Neither - it is simply the GNU tr does not yet support multibyte =
characters.

> The simplest way to reproduce this looks like this (sorry, umlaut
> ahead):
>=20
> $ echo -ne "\xc3\x82" | tr -cd "=E4" | xxd
> % 00000000: c3                                       .
>=20
> The echo prints a capital A with a circumflex (=C2), and I expect the =
tr
> command to delete everything except the small umlaut =E4. It looks as =
if
> tr just deletes the second byte.

What happened here is this:
'tr' currently reads the input string parameter (SET1) as single-byte, =
and so
treats it as if you've given two octets: \xC3 \xA4 (which is the UTF-8 =
encoding
of small A with umlaut).
Then, it reads the input octet-by-octet, keeps \xC3 and deletes \x82.

> When I try without the umlaut it gives me the empty result, as =
expected:
>=20
> $ echo -ne "\xc3\x82" | tr -cd "a" | xxd

Indeed, because here you're asking to
keep only octets whose value is \x61 (the ASCII value of 'a') -
neither "\xC3" not "\x82" match and so they are deleted.


> For the moment, I'll try to solve my problem differently, but... is =
this
> a bug? Thanks in advance!

Not a bug - but a yet-missing feature.
For relevant discussion see here:
   https://debbugs.gnu.org/cgi/bugreport.cgi?bug=3D24924#8

As a temporary work-around, you can use gnu sed which is =
multibyte-aware:

  $ printf "abc \xc3\xA4\xc3\x82 def\n" | sed 's/[^=E4]//g'
  =E4

And 'sed' supports one more thing called "character equivalent class":
The the following examples, all characters except those that are =
equivalent to 'a'
will be deleted:

  $ printf "abc \xc3\xA4\xc3\x82 def\n" | sed 's/[^[=3Da=3D]]//g'
  a=E4=C2

'Character equivalent class' will work with future 'tr' as well
once multibyte-support is added.

Lastly,
"echo -en" is not portable. It is recommended to use "printf" instead.
"printf" has the added advantage that it supports unicode code-points
directly, instead of having to know the UTF-8 encoding of a unicode =
character,
e.g.:
     printf "\u00c2\n"
will print capital A with circumflex (and will work in other locales if =
they
support this character, not just UTF-8).


I'm thus marking this item as "wishlist" and "notabug",
but I'll keep it open until it is implemented.
Discussion can continue by replying to this thread.

regards,
 - assaf





Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#26362; Package coreutils. Full text available.

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Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2017 16:01:52 +0200
From: Ronald Schaten <ronald@HIDDEN>
To: bug-coreutils@HIDDEN
Subject: tr -cd -- Problem with UTF-8?
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Hey...

I'm not sure if this is bug or if I'm using it wrong. As a matter of
fact, I tested this on several systems, and on BSD-based systems (Mac)
the tr tool gives different results -- the one I expected.

The simplest way to reproduce this looks like this (sorry, umlaut
ahead):

$ echo -ne "\xc3\x82" | tr -cd "=E4" | xxd
% 00000000: c3                                       .

The echo prints a capital A with a circumflex (=C2), and I expect the tr
command to delete everything except the small umlaut =E4. It looks as if
tr just deletes the second byte.

When I try without the umlaut it gives me the empty result, as expected:

$ echo -ne "\xc3\x82" | tr -cd "a" | xxd
[empty result]

I tested several systems, the oldest is a Debian with coreutils 8.5, the
newest an Ubuntu with coreutils 8.25.


For the moment, I'll try to solve my problem differently, but... is this
a bug? Thanks in advance!


Regards,
Ronald.

--=20
There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.
(Ken Olsen, DEC)




Acknowledgement sent to Ronald Schaten <ronald@HIDDEN>:
New bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN. Full text available.
Report forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#26362; Package coreutils. Full text available.
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