Terminal control/Unicode output

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Terminal control/Unicode output
You are encouraged to solve this task according to the task description, using any language you may know.

The task is to check that the terminal supports Unicode output, before outputting a Unicode character. If the terminal supports Unicode, then the terminal should output a Unicode delta (U+25b3). If the terminal does not support Unicode, then an appropriate error should be raised.

Note that it is permissible to use system configuration data to determine terminal capabilities if the system provides such a facility.


[edit] AutoHotkey

Stdout:=FileOpen(DllCall("GetStdHandle", "int", -11, "ptr"), "h `n")
Stdin:=FileOpen(DllCall("GetStdHandle", "int", -10, "ptr"), "h `n")
;Full Unicode-support font needed
if (e && A_IsUnicode)
Print("△ - Unicode delta (U+25b3)")
if (x=0 && y=0) ;nothing prints if Non-Unicode font
Print("Non-Unicode font")
Print("Unicode not supported")
global Stdout
if (!StrLen(string))
return 1
e:=DllCall("WriteConsole" . ((A_IsUnicode) ? "W" : "A")
, "UPtr", Stdout.__Handle
, "Str", string
, "UInt", strlen(string)
, "UInt*", Written
, "uint", 0)
if (!e) or (ErrorLevel)
return 0 ;Failure
return e
SetConsoleOutputCP(codepage) {
if (!e) or (ErrorLevel)
return 0 ;Failure
return 1
GetPos(ByRef x, ByRef y) {
global Stdout
if (!e) or (ErrorLevel)
return 0 ;Failure
return 1
Pause() {
RunWait, %comspec% /c pause>NUL

[edit] AWK

#!/usr/bin/awk -f
unicodeterm=1 # Assume Unicode support
if (ENVIRON["LC_ALL"] !~ "UTF") {
if (ENVIRON["LC_ALL"] != ""
unicodeterm=0 # LC_ALL is the boss, and it says nay
else {
# Check other locale settings if LC_ALL override not set
if (ENVIRON["LC_CTYPE"] !~ "UTF") {
if (ENVIRON["LANG"] !~ "UTF")
unicodeterm=0 # This terminal does not support Unicode
if (unicodeterm) {
# This terminal supports Unicode
# We need a Unicode compatible printf, so we source this externally
# printf might not know \u or \x, so use octal.
# U+25B3 => UTF-8 342 226 263
"/usr/bin/printf \\342\\226\\263\\n"
} else {
print "HW65001 This program requires a Unicode compatible terminal"|"cat 1>&2"
exit 252 # Incompatible hardware

[edit] BBC BASIC

      VDU 23,22,640;512;8,16,16,128+8 : REM Enable UTF-8 mode
*FONT Arial Unicode MS,36
PRINT CHR$(&E2)+CHR$(&96)+CHR$(&B3)

[edit] C

/*30th August, 2012
Abhishek Ghosh*/

main ()
int i;
char *str = getenv ("LANG");
for (i = 0; str[i + 2] != 00; i++)
if ((str[i] == 'u' && str[i + 1] == 't' && str[i + 2] == 'f')
|| (str[i] == 'U' && str[i + 1] == 'T' && str[i + 2] == 'F'))
("Unicode is supported on this terminal and U+25B3 is : \u25b3");
i = -1;
if (i != -1)
printf ("Unicode is not supported on this terminal.");
return 0;


Unicode is supported on this terminal and U+25B3 is : â³

[edit] Haskell

import System.Environment
import Data.List
import Data.Char
import Data.Maybe
main = do
x <- mapM lookupEnv ["LANG", "LC_ALL", "LC_CTYPE"]
if any (isInfixOf "UTF". map toUpper) $ catMaybes x
then putStrLn "UTF supported: \x25b3"
else putStrLn "UTF not supported"


UTF supported: △

[edit] Lasso

local(env_vars = sys_environ -> join('###'))
if(#env_vars >> regexp(`(LANG|LC_ALL|LC_CTYPE).*?UTF.*?###`)) => {
stdout('UTF supported \u25b3')
stdout('This terminal does not support UTF')
UTF supported △

[edit] Mathematica

If[StringMatchQ[$CharacterEncoding, "UTF*"], Print[FromCharacterCode[30000]], Print["UTF-8 capable terminal required"]]

[edit] Nemerle

Typically, on a windows system, the output encoding is not UTF-8, so in an actual application it would make more sense to set Console.OutputEncoding than to merely check it.

using System.Console;
module UnicodeOut
Main() : void
if (OutputEncoding.ToString() == "System.Text.UTF8Encoding") Write("Δ")
else Write("Console encoding may not support Unicode characters.");

[edit] Perl 6

die "Terminal can't handle UTF-8"
unless first(*.defined, %*ENV<LC_ALL LC_CTYPE LANG>) ~~ /:i 'utf-8'/;
say "△";

[edit] PicoLisp

(if (sub? "UTF-8" (or (sys "LC_ALL") (sys "LC_CTYPE") (sys "LANG")))
(prinl (char (hex "25b3")))
(quit "UTF-8 capable terminal required") )

[edit] Racket

#lang racket
(if (regexp-match? #px"(?i:utf-?8)"
(or (getenv "LC_ALL") (getenv "LC_CTYPE") (getenv "LANG")))
"\u25b3" "No Unicode detected."))

[edit] Ruby

#encoding: UTF-8       # superfluous in Ruby >1.9.3
if ENV.values_at("LC_ALL","LC_CTYPE","LANG").compact.first.include?("UTF-8")
puts "△"
raise "Terminal can't handle UTF-8"

[edit] Tcl

Tcl configures the standard output channel to use the system encoding by default. The system encoding is formally the encoding for use when communicating with the OS (e.g., for filenames) but is virtually always correlated with the default terminal encoding.

# Check if we're using one of the UTF or "unicode" encodings
if {[string match utf-* [encoding system]] || [string match *unicode* [encoding system]]} {
puts "\u25b3"
} else {
error "terminal does not support unicode (probably)"

Note that idiomatic Tcl code would not perform such a check; it would just produce the output which would be translated as best as possible (possibly into the target encoding's placeholder character).

[edit] UNIX Shell

This script only checks if the name of the locale contains "UTF-8". This often works because many UTF-8 locales have names like "en_US.UTF-8". This script will fail to recognize a Unicode terminal if:

  • The locale is a UTF-8 locale, but does not have "UTF-8" in its name.
  • The locale uses some other Unicode Transformation Format, such as GB18030.
Works with: Bourne Shell
unicode_tty() {
# LC_ALL supersedes LC_CTYPE, which supersedes LANG.
# Set $1 to environment value.
case y in
${LC_ALL:+y}) set -- "$LC_ALL";;
${LC_CTYPE:+y}) set -- "$LC_CTYPE";;
${LANG:+y}) set -- "$LANG";;
y) return 1;; # Assume "C" locale not UTF-8.
# We use 'case' to perform pattern matching against a string.
case "$1" in
*UTF-8*) return 0;;
*) return 1;;
if unicode_tty; then
# printf might not know \u or \x, so use octal.
# U+25B3 => UTF-8 342 226 263
printf "\342\226\263\n"
echo "HW65001 This program requires a Unicode compatible terminal" >&2
exit 252 # Incompatible hardware

The terminal might support UTF-8, but its fonts might not have every Unicode character. Unless they have U+25B3, the output will not look correct. Greek letters like U+25B3 tend to be common, but some fonts might not have Chinese characters (for example), and almost no fonts have dead scripts such as Cuneiform.

[edit] ZX Spectrum Basic

10 REM There is no Unicode delta in ROM
20 REM So we first define a custom character
30 FOR l=0 TO 7
40 READ n
50 POKE USR "d"+l,n
60 NEXT l
70 REM our custom character is a user defined d
80 PRINT CHR$(147): REM this outputs our delta
9500 REM data for our custom delta
9510 DATA 0,0,8,20,34,65,127,0
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