Operating System - OpenVMS
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CRTL bug?: iconv_open doesn't do ASCII

Craig A Berry
Honored Contributor

CRTL bug?: iconv_open doesn't do ASCII

On an OpenVMS Alpha 7.3-1 system with no special language kits installed, it appears (based on the stock files supplied at the location pointed to by SYS$I18N_ICONV) that the following character set names are supported for translation by iconv_open:


A bit of experimentation shows that other character set names are considered invalid by iconv_open. So far so good -- that's what I would expect. However, translating character sets is not something done in the abstract; what I really want is to translate between my local character set and some other one.

The standard supported method for obtaining the canonical name of my local character set is to call "nl_langinfo(CODESET);", which returns "ASCII" on my system. But "ASCII" is not in the list of character sets supported for translation by iconv_open, and indeed iconv_open considers it invalid.

I am aware of the documentation for creating additional character set translations using the iconv utility. It seems to me, though, that internal consistency between what nl_langinfo returns and what iconv_open can use should be available out of the box. The lack of it will break a lot of open source software and is already necessitating some VMS-specific hacks in a project I'm involved with. It also seems that fixing this would probably just be a data change and not require touching the CRTL code.
Martin P.J. Zinser
Honored Contributor

Re: CRTL bug?: iconv_open doesn't do ASCII

Hi Craig,

not sure it helps, but there is an CRTL ECO 1 available for 7.3-1. This did touch iconv. While it does not explicitly mention your problem you never now what engineering did under the covers ;-)

Greetings, Martin
Craig A Berry
Honored Contributor

Re: CRTL bug?: iconv_open doesn't do ASCII

Thanks, Martin. I'll double check but I think I already have that ECO installed.

Re: CRTL bug?: iconv_open doesn't do ASCII

Seems like a bug to me. I bet that the character set is really 8859-1 or maybe DECstd 169 even if it's reported as ASCII by nl_langinfo...

So you can probably see what is reported ASCII on VMS as 8859-1 or DECstd 169. But you should however make sure to log this as a problem with HP so that they get the chance to do something about this, because it really seems to be a bug.

Isn't every computer a Digital computer?