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2.2.3 Wide Character Encodings

GNAT allows wide character codes to appear in character and string literals, and also optionally in identifiers, by means of the following possible encoding schemes:

Hex Coding
In this encoding, a wide character is represented by the following five character sequence:

 
ESC a b c d

Where a, b, c, d are the four hexadecimal characters (using uppercase letters) of the wide character code. For example, ESC A345 is used to represent the wide character with code 16#A345#. This scheme is compatible with use of the full Wide_Character set.

Upper-Half Coding
The wide character with encoding 16#abcd# where the upper bit is on (in other words, "a" is in the range 8-F) is represented as two bytes, 16#ab# and 16#cd#. The second byte cannot be a format control character, but is not required to be in the upper half. This method can be also used for shift-JIS or EUC, where the internal coding matches the external coding.

Shift JIS Coding
A wide character is represented by a two-character sequence, 16#ab# and 16#cd#, with the restrictions described for upper-half encoding as described above. The internal character code is the corresponding JIS character according to the standard algorithm for Shift-JIS conversion. Only characters defined in the JIS code set table can be used with this encoding method.

EUC Coding
A wide character is represented by a two-character sequence 16#ab# and 16#cd#, with both characters being in the upper half. The internal character code is the corresponding JIS character according to the EUC encoding algorithm. Only characters defined in the JIS code set table can be used with this encoding method.

UTF-8 Coding
A wide character is represented using UCS Transformation Format 8 (UTF-8) as defined in Annex R of ISO 10646-1/Am.2. Depending on the character value, the representation is a one, two, or three byte sequence:
 
16#0000#-16#007f#: 2#0xxxxxxx#
16#0080#-16#07ff#: 2#110xxxxx# 2#10xxxxxx#
16#0800#-16#ffff#: 2#1110xxxx# 2#10xxxxxx# 2#10xxxxxx#

where the xxx bits correspond to the left-padded bits of the 16-bit character value. Note that all lower half ASCII characters are represented as ASCII bytes and all upper half characters and other wide characters are represented as sequences of upper-half (The full UTF-8 scheme allows for encoding 31-bit characters as 6-byte sequences, but in this implementation, all UTF-8 sequences of four or more bytes length will be treated as illegal).

Brackets Coding
In this encoding, a wide character is represented by the following eight character sequence:

 
[ " a b c d " ]

Where a, b, c, d are the four hexadecimal characters (using uppercase letters) of the wide character code. For example, ["A345"] is used to represent the wide character with code 16#A345#. It is also possible (though not required) to use the Brackets coding for upper half characters. For example, the code 16#A3# can be represented as ["A3"].

This scheme is compatible with use of the full Wide_Character set, and is also the method used for wide character encoding in the standard ACVC (Ada Compiler Validation Capability) test suite distributions.

Note: Some of these coding schemes do not permit the full use of the Ada 95 character set. For example, neither Shift JIS, nor EUC allow the use of the upper half of the Latin-1 set.


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