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    I’m not really seeing the appeal of a program that (deep breath) makes most non-English text unreadable, and replaces perfectly cromulent characters like quotes, dashes, non-breaking spaces, currency symbols, mathematical symbols and emoji with a bunch of octal(!) junk.

    It’s an interesting historical example of a utility that was useful in the days when Unix belonged to American guys with VT-52s, but no one should letting museum pieces like isgraph do their work for them nowadays.

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      I had to check the timestamp of the post to make sure it wasn’t written in 1995…

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        And since it doesn’t appear to treat a literal backslash in its input any differently from any other “normal” ASCII character, it also produces ambiguous output – something I’d very much have expected a tool like that to want to avoid.

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        I use vis sometimes when dealing with binary/corrupted files in my terminal text editor, which makes moving around hard when some characters aren’t visible.

        A modern version of this utility that preserves unicode symbols would be handy.

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          This is also useful also to view spaces vs tabs or type of newlines. Undisguised self advertising, I made 2 related programs:

          • vhd, the Visual HexDump, which is sort of hexdump but respecting newlines, not for full-binary files then
          • univisible, can compose/decompose unicode characters (NFKC/NFKD), display verbosely every code point