Iconv emacs trouble

I’m finding a weird problem with iconv. I would like to convert from
UTF-8 West European strings (like ‘pan carrè’) to the ASCII//TRANSLIT ->
‘pan carre’

my system is: Linux bacedifo 2.6.18-6-xen-686 #1 SMP Fri Dec 12 20:13:49
UTC 2008 i686 GNU/Linux
ruby 1.8.7 (2008-08-11 patchlevel 72) [i486-linux]

my script is:
require ‘iconv’
$KCODE = ‘UTF-8’
require ‘jcode’

resume =
'résumé’puts resume.inspect

puts “Internal iconv: #{Iconv.conv(“ASCII//TRANSLIT”, “UTF8”, resume)}”
puts “System iconv: #{%x{echo “#{resume}” | iconv -f utf-8 -t

Output is:
[email protected]:~/tmp$ ruby ruby-talk.rb
"résumé"Internal iconv: r?sum? # wrong: should be: resume
System iconv: resume # correct

Some more weirdness: with irb it just works:
[email protected]:~/tmp$ irb -r iconv
irb(main):001:0> resume =
‘résumé’=> “r\303\251sum\303\251”
irb(main):002:0> Iconv.conv(“ASCII//TRANSLIT”, “UTF8”, resume)
=> “resume”

With jruby fails in a different way:
[email protected]:~/tmp$ jruby ruby-talk.rb
"résumé"Internal iconv: résumé # wrong
System iconv: rA©sumA© # wrong

Is it a emacs issue? Maybe, but vim does the same. It’s more likely I’m
doing something wrong. Can you help me?

Thank you!


I know how do you feel, your problem really sucks.

To create tests that complain with this kind of issue into emacs, when
problem was with ISO-8859 strings, I wrote code inserting multi-byte
by octal insertion (Use quoted-insert - C-q followed by octal
code -

Example: to insert the ISO 8859-1 string:

física é linda

(that extends to “Physics is beautiful” into portuguese), I should use

f\205sica \201 linda

where *** is in truth the multi-byte char.
With this approach I could test iconv from emacs edited file.

DOES NOT INSERT ***, this is just the representation that emacs
display at
char position when you insert it from C-q combination.

I expect that this is useful to you, cause when I pass through the same
problem, I lose a lot of time searching for this solution.

On Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 7:01 AM, Francesco Malvezzi <
[email protected]> wrote:

=> “r\303\251sum\303\251”
doing something wrong. Can you help me?

Thank you!


Everton J. Carpes
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