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Unknown character encodings in .emacs

From: Alan E. Davis
Subject: Unknown character encodings in .emacs
Date: Sat, 7 Jun 2008 23:32:32 +1000

I have stumbled on a problem in my ~/.emacs.el .  I am at a loss to even explain it.  It seems to me like it might be related to character encoding. 

For a number of months, or even years, I have been encountering messages asking what encoding I wish to use to save files.  I have gotten into the habit of saying "utf-8" because it gets me out of there, but I haven't a clue what this might do or mean.

Now, my .emacs has gotten buggered.  I pasted some snippets from a web site.  Later one, those snippets, it seems, have gotten expressed as garbage characters.  I'be been poking around, but don't have a clue where to start.  I never did understand encoding---I mean, what it does, what parts of the sysem are involved.  I cannot even get to first base debugging this.

As an example, I have an abbreviation table that has been in my init file for 15 years, and now reads as gibberish.

(define-abbrev-table 'global-abbrev-table '(
    ("%`" "‚\°" nil 0)  
    ("a`" "á" nil 1)
    ("A`" "Á" nil 1)
    ("o`" "ó" nil 2)       
    ("O`" "ÃÂ"" nil 1)
    ("u`" "ú" nil 2)
    ("U`" "Ú" nil 1)
    ("n`" "ñ" nil 0)
    ("e`" "é" nil 4)
    ("E`" "É" nil 1)
    ("m`" "µ" nil 0)
    ("p`" "¶" nil 0)
    ("s`" "§" nil 0)
    ("y`" "\245" nil 0)   ;; Â¥
    ("?`" "¿" nil 0)
    ("!`" "¡" nil 0)
    (":`" "÷" nil 0)
    ("<`" "«" nil 0) 
    (">`" "\273" nil 0)
    ("/`" "\370" nil 0)   ;;  ø
    ("!`" "\241" nil 0)   ;;  ¡
    ("b`" "\337" nil 0)   ;;  ß
    ("c`" "\242" nil 0)   ;;  ¢

Can someone point me to an explanation of why this happened, and how to fix it?

Thank you very much,


Alan Davis  :    address@hidden

"It's never a matter of liking or disliking ..."
---Santa Ynez Chumash Medicine Man

"We have no art. We do everything as well as we can." ---Balinese saying

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