Fixing character encoding issue in ViewVC

So I was having an issue with ViewVC wherein UTF-8 content (a copyright symbol) was being garbled in the web browser.

I chased a number of red herrings (Content-Type headers, http-equiv, XHTML vs HTML5) but eventually found the culprit in the viewvc.conf settings.

I needed to change the ‘detect_encoding’ setting from ‘1’ to ‘0’. Once that was done my content was presented correctly:

## detect_encoding: Should we attempt to detect versioned file
## character encodings?  [Requires 'chardet' module, and is currently
## used only by the syntax coloration logic -- if enabled -- for the
## 'markup' and 'annotate' views; see 'enable_syntax_coloration'.]
# 2019-06-02 jj5 - OLD: this was bollocksing things up...
#detect_encoding = 1
# 2019-06-02 jj5 - NEW: so I changed it...
detect_encoding = 0
# 2019-06-02 jj5 - END

Salt file.recurse source file not found (file encoding issue)

So I was running this:

    - clean: True
    - user: root
    - group: root
    - dir_mode: 755
    - file_mode: 644
    - source: salt://inst/mediawiki-1.29
    - require:
      - pkg: apache2

And getting an error like this:

          ID: /var/www/
    Function: file.recurse
      Result: False
     Comment: #### /var/www/ ####
              Source file 'salt://inst/mediawiki-1.29/vendor/james-heinrich/getid3/getid3/' not found

              #### /var/www/ ####
              Source file 'salt://inst/mediawiki-1.29/vendor/james-heinrich/getid3/getid3/' not found
     Started: 14:27:18.352264
    Duration: 134735.945 ms

The issue was that the source files mentioned weren’t in UTF-8 format. To convert the files I ran, e.g.:

$ iconv -f WINDOWS-1252 -t UTF-8//TRANSLIT < >

(Actually I couldn’t get the ‘iconv’ command to work so I edited manually in Vim)

Fixing bug in /etc/cron.daily/etckeeper on Ubuntu Lucid

I was getting an error like this:

bzr: ERROR: exceptions.UnicodeDecodeError: 'ascii' codec can't decode byte 0xc4 in position 34: ordinal not in range(128)

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/bzrlib/", line 853, in exception_to_return_code
    return the_callable(*args, **kwargs)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/bzrlib/", line 1055, in run_bzr
    ret = run(*run_argv)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/bzrlib/", line 661, in run_argv_aliases
    return self.run_direct(**all_cmd_args)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/bzrlib/", line 665, in run_direct
    return self._operation.run_simple(*args, **kwargs)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/bzrlib/", line 122, in run_simple
    self.cleanups, self.func, *args, **kwargs)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/bzrlib/", line 156, in _do_with_cleanups
    result = func(*args, **kwargs)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/bzrlib/", line 659, in run
    no_recurse, action=action, save=not dry_run)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/bzrlib/", line 50, in tree_write_locked
    return unbound(self, *args, **kwargs)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/bzrlib/", line 521, in smart_add
    for subf in sorted(os.listdir(abspath)):
UnicodeDecodeError: 'ascii' codec can't decode byte 0xc4 in position 34: ordinal not in range(128)

bzr 2.1.4 on python 2.6.5 (Linux-
arguments: ['/usr/bin/bzr', 'add', '-q', '.']
encoding: 'ANSI_X3.4-1968', fsenc: 'ANSI_X3.4-1968', lang: None
  bzrtools             /usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/bzrlib/plugins/bzrtools [2.1.0]
  etckeeper            /usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/bzrlib/plugins/etckeeper [unknown]
  launchpad            /usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/bzrlib/plugins/launchpad [2.1.4]
  netrc_credential_store /usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/bzrlib/plugins/netrc_credential_store [2.1.4]
  news_merge           /usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/bzrlib/plugins/news_merge [2.1.4]

*** Bazaar has encountered an internal error.  This probably indicates a
    bug in Bazaar.  You can help us fix it by filing a bug report at
    including this traceback and a description of the problem.
etckeeper warning: bzr add failed
Committing to: /etc/
modified apache2/passwd.htdigest
modified apache2/sites-available/
Committed revision 87.

I’ve tried to fix it by adding:

export LANG=en_AU.UTF-8
export LANGUAGE=en_AU:en

As lines 2 and 3 in /etc/cron.daily/etckeeper.

Now I’ll wait a day or two and see if it worked…