View Full Version : UTF-8 in PERL source stops code running

November 5th, 2010, 02:09 PM
OK, I must be an idiot. I have been trying to get a simple ¨Hello World¨ running on my 10.10 installation and PERL just throws the following error:-

Unrecognized character \xC2 in column 7 at ./hello.pl line 2

The character it is complaining about is the first double quote character that I typed before the H in Hello.

hexdump -C hello.pl shows what I actually have in my source file. Oh dear, where have the double quotes that I typed in nano gone? I thought I was hitting the double quote key, but the hex output shows 0xC2 0xA8 which is DIAERESIS in UTF-8.

00000000 23 21 2f 75 73 72 2f 62 69 6e 2f 70 65 72 6c 0a |#!/usr/bin/perl.|
00000010 70 72 69 6e 74 20 c2 a8 48 65 6c 6c 6f 20 57 6f |print ..Hello Wo|
00000020 72 6c 64 21 5c 6e c2 a8 3b 0a 23 20 45 6e 64 20 |rld!\n..;.# End |
00000030 6f 66 20 66 69 6c 65 0a |of file.|

My locale is:-


Can someone explain to me how I can write a simple Hello World in PERL on my British installation of Ubuntu 10.10 and get it to run?

Is there a special magic key combination that I need to press to get Double Quotes (0x22) in my code?

I also cannot run PERL one liners from the command line because of UTF-8 translating my keystrokes.

November 5th, 2010, 02:54 PM
I'm also using a british installation of ubuntu and it works fine for me.

First off, the problem isn't with perl. I'm fairly sure that it would work for you if you copied and pasted this quotation mark " . There's something in you installation that's mapping the quotation mark on your keyboard to the wrong unicode character. What keyboard map are you using?

November 5th, 2010, 02:58 PM
Try add these to the top of your script:

use utf8;

binmode STDOUT, ':encoding(utf8)';

perldoc utf8
perldoc -f binmode
perldoc perluniintro
perldoc perlunicode
perldoc perlunifaq
perldoc perlunitut

November 5th, 2010, 02:59 PM
I found a solution. I was typing using an American keyboard that has no British Pound sign. My keyboard definition was set to 'USA International (with dead keys)'. Using the Ubuntu desktop program for specifying keyboards, I replaced the 'dead keys' keyboard setting that was detected at install time with just plain 'USA' and the double quote key now enters a double quote character when pressed. I edited my Hello World code accordingly and it now runs.

In conclusion, if the key being pressed doesn't enter the character that you expected, then you are probably using the wrong keyboard driver.

November 5th, 2010, 03:03 PM
congratulations, remember to set the thread as solved.