Unicode in VOTable

Norman Gray norman at astro.gla.ac.uk
Sun Aug 17 08:29:36 PDT 2014

Mark, hello.

On 2014 Aug 14, at 17:35, Mark Taylor <m.b.taylor at bristol.ac.uk> wrote:

> Note though that this change does lose you something: the possibility
> to store in a VOTable text data that is known and declared to be
> 7-bit ASCII.  If you're in FITS'n'FORTRAN land such things can
> be useful.  However, I don't know how many people are really relying
> on that in practice at present.

This could potentially be dealt with by adding an encoding='us-ascii' attribute to the declaration.

If I understand the current suggestion correctly, you'd keep calling the type 'char' but interpret the arraysize attribute as the encoded length in bytes.  That sounds extremely plausible, but also opens up the possibility for doing the same with encoding='us-ascii' (which of course is the trivial case) and encoding='utf-16'.

The latter would probably confuse older readers of newer files, but since arraysize will continue to reliably indicate how much space the string will take up, at least the applications won't break.

All the best,


Norman Gray  :  http://nxg.me.uk
SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK

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