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Bug 262137 - Editor: Unicode characters unreadable in standard fonts
Summary: Editor: Unicode characters unreadable in standard fonts
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: editor
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Painting & Printing (show other bugs)
Version: 8.2
Hardware: PC Windows 10 x64
: P3 normal (vote)
Assignee: Miloslav Metelka
Depends on:
Reported: 2016-05-18 12:57 UTC by BlameFate
Modified: 2016-06-29 09:27 UTC (History)
0 users

See Also:
Exception Reporter:


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Description BlameFate 2016-05-18 12:57:35 UTC
I am using some unusual Unicode characters in the names of some SQL tables and files. Most of the ones I want to use (e.g. most arrows and mathematical symbols), work fine; it's just that, some of the ones I would very much like to use, aren't displayed correctly in the NetBeans editor, using the default source-code editing fonts. It seems like I can only partially rectify this, e.g. by switching to a different font, which displays a different subset of Unicode characters, and fails in a different subset of cases! Anything other than a few of the available options, makes my code virtually unreadable.

I'm currently using "Monospaced 13", and I generally like it: bold is not too harsh. I have tried various alternatives like free "Unicode" "source-code" fonts available online: "Source Code Pro", for example, is missing "⋙", "≫", "≪" and "⋘"; which I have been using for annotating "To Do" items in my code. There's an ancient free bitmap Unicode catch-all font that looks pretty awful, so I don't want to use that as my main source-code font.

My current source-code screen is "only" 1920×1280 px., 23 inches. I'm willing to buy commercial fonts if they're good enough, but would prefer to stick with what I have, with fall-back fonts for missing characters.)

Would it be possible to implement NetBeans to use safe fall-back fonts, in the case of finding Unicode code-points in the text which are unserviced by the current font? Could these fall-backs be organised according to the qualities of the font in use, e.g. fixed-width, etc.?

Examples of characters I want, which are missing from Monospaced 13, include international characters from foreign character sets, glyphs, emoticons, and things like this:
⌖ ⌗ ⌚ ⌛ ⌦ ⌧ ⌨ ⌫
⑀ ⑁ ⑂ ⑃ ⑄ ⑅ ⑆ ⑇ ⑈ ⑉ ⑊
And the biggest pain of all, I'm using these in SQL views, to represent MIN() and MAX() aggregate functions:
⌈…⌉ ⌊…⌋
— these are mathematical symbols for CEILING() and FLOOR() respectively. I'm using symbols to simplify and abbreviate my SQL, to make it easier to understand what's going on in more complex queries and views. My keyboard is set up to enable me to type these symbols with key-combinations and dead-key sequences: but limited NetBeans Unicode support is the last obstacle preventing me from progressing further with this.

I'm grateful for the Unicode support that exists in NetBeans (and grateful that it supports things that are unusual but legal in PHP, like using "µ" or "×" in class/function/variable identifiers). Still, I would benefit from deeper Unicode support. I realise that my use-case is somewhat "niche", but surely there are some other people out there who want to write source-code with identifiers in their native languages (which might not be in the Latin script)?