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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Archive for the ‘Unicode’ Category

VMware ESXi 6 and 7: checking and setting/clearing maintenance mode from the console

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/04/21

Every now and then it is useful to be able to do maintenance work from the ESXi console addition to the ESXi web-user interface.

I know there are many sites having this information, but many of them forgot to format the statements with code markup, so parameters with two dashes -- (each a Wayback Unicode Character ‘HYPHEN-MINUS’ (U+002D)) now have become an [Wayback] Unicode Character ‘EN DASH’ (U+2013) which is incompatible with most console programs, especially the ESXi ones (as they are Busybox based to minimise footprint).

Note you can use this small site (which runs in-browser, so does not phone home) to get the unicode code points for any string: [Wayback] What Unicode character is this ?.

Links like below (most on the domain) have this EN DASH and make me document things on my blog instead of trying code directly from blogs or forum posts:

So below are three commands I use that have to do with the maintenance mode (the mode that for instance you can use to update an ESXi host to the latest patch level).

    1. Check the maintenance mode (which returns Enabled or Disabled):
      esxcli system maintenanceMode get
    2. Enable maintenance mode (which returns nothing when succeeded, and Maintenance mode is already enabled. when failed):
      esxcli system maintenanceMode set --enable true
    3. Disable maintenance mode (which returns nothing when succeeded, and Maintenance mode is already disabled. when failed):
      esxcli system maintenanceMode get

Some examples, especially an the various output possibilities (commands in bold, output in italic):

# esxcli system maintenanceMode get
# esxcli system maintenanceMode set --enable false
Maintenance mode is already disabled.
# esxcli system maintenanceMode set --enable true 
# esxcli system maintenanceMode get
# esxcli system maintenanceMode set --enable true
Maintenance mode is already enabled.
# esxcli system maintenanceMode set --enable false
# esxcli system maintenanceMode get

Note I have not checked the exit codes for these esxcli commands yet, but did blog about how to do that: Busybox sh (actually ash derivative dash): checking exit codes.


Posted in BusyBox, Development, Encoding, ESXi6, ESXi6.5, ESXi6.7, ESXi7, Power User, Software Development, Unicode, Virtualization, VMware, VMware ESXi | Leave a Comment »

(mostly ASCII) List of emoticons – Wikipedia

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/03/17

Most searches for “ASCII emoticons” get you Unicode ones:

Luckily most are ASCII in List of emoticons – Wikipedia.

There are also shortcodes, which do not visually represent an emoji, but usually get translated to the image or Unicode character.

A few lists on them:


Posted in ASCII, Development, Encoding, LifeHacker, Power User, Software Development, Unicode | Leave a Comment »

Unicode is hard, also for the Delphi compiler and IDE

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/10/13

The Delphi compiler does not see a unicode non-breaking space (0x00A0 as whitespace, and the Delphi IDE does not warn you about it: [WayBack] Delphi revelations #2 – Space characters are not just space characters.

Given that this character was introduced in 1993, I wonder how the compiler tests look like.

These also will not be recognised as whitespace:

Related, as many other tools also do not properly support various whitespace characters:

Via: [WayBack] A Delphi “Aha” experience – Kim Madsen – Google+


Posted in Delphi, Development, Software Development, Unicode | Leave a Comment »

Hamburger menu character on unicode: use U+2261 instead of U+2630

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/01/27

Not all fonts have Unicode character ☰ [WayBack] Unicode Character ‘TRIGRAM FOR HEAVEN’ (U+2630) as it is in a less common block.

More fonts have Unicode character ≡ [WayBack] Unicode Character ‘IDENTICAL TO’ (U+2261)

The latter is slightly shorter and slightly narrower than the former, but works in way more places.

Via [WayBack] html – Unicode ☰ hamburger not displaying in Android & Chrome – Stack Overflow

I’ve worked around this problem by using the UNICODE character UNICODE U+2261 (8801), ≡ IDENTICAL TO as illustrated below rather than the UNICODE U+2630 (9776) ☰ TRIGRAM FOR HEAVEN which


Posted in Development, Encoding, LifeHacker, Power User, Software Development, Unicode | Leave a Comment »

Delphi, decoding files to strings and finding line endings: some links, some history on Windows NT and UTF/UCS encodings

Posted by jpluimers on 2019/12/31

A while back there were a few G+ threads sprouted by David Heffernan on decoding big files into line-ending splitted strings:

Code comparison:


with open(filename, 'r', encoding='utf-16-le') as f:
  for line in f:


for Line in TLineReader.FromFile(filename, TEncoding.Unicode) do

This spurred some nice observations and unfounded statements on which encodings should be used, so I posted a bit of history that is included below.

Some tips and observations from the links:

  • Good old text files are not “good” with Unicode support, neither are TextFile Device Drivers; nobody has written a driver supporting a wide range of encodings as of yet.
  • Good old text files are slow as well, even with a changed SetTextBuffer
  • When using the TStreamReader, the decoding takes much more time than the actual reading, which means that [WayBack] Faster FileStream with TBufferedFileStream • DelphiABall does not help much
  • TStringList.LoadFromFile, though fast, is a memory allocation dork and has limits on string size
  • Delphi RTL code is not what it used to be: pre-Delphi Unicode RTL code is of far better quality than Delphi 2009 and up RTL code
  • Supporting various encodings is important
  • EBCDIC days: three kinds of spaces, two kinds of hyphens, multiple codepages
  • Strings are just that: strings. It’s about the encoding from/to the file that needs to be optimal.
  • When processing large files, caching only makes sense when the file fits in memory. Otherwise caching just adds overhead.
  • On Windows, if you read a big text file into memory, open the file in “sequential read” mode, to disable caching. Use the FILE_FLAG_SEQUENTIAL_SCAN flag under Windows, as stated at [WayBack] How do FILE_FLAG_SEQUENTIAL_SCAN and FILE_FLAG_RANDOM_ACCESS affect how the operating system treats my file? – The Old New Thing
  • Python string reading depends on the way you read files (ASCII or Unicode); see [WayBack] unicode – Python codecs line ending – Stack Overflow

Though TLineReader is not part of the RTL, I think it is from [WayBack] For-in Enumeration – ADUG.

Encodings in use

It doesn’t help that on the Windows Console, various encodings are used:

Good reading here is [WayBack] c++ – What unicode encoding (UTF-8, UTF-16, other) does Windows use for its Unicode data types? – Stack Overflow

Encoding history

+A. Bouchez I’m with +David Heffernan here:

At its release in 1993, Windows NT was very early in supporting Unicode. Development of Windows NT started in 1990 where they opted for UCS-2 having 2 bytes per character and had a non-required annex on UTF-1.

UTF-1 – that later evolved into UTF-8 – did not even exist at that time. Even UCS-2 was still young: it got designed in 1989. UTF-8 was outlined late 1992 and became a standard in 1993

Some references:


Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Delphi, Development, Encoding, PowerShell, PowerShell, Python, Scripting, Software Development, The Old New Thing, Unicode, UTF-16, UTF-8, Windows Development | Leave a Comment »

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