← Back to team overview

desktop-packages team mailing list archive

[Bug 218637] Re: Non-breaking space is easy to write accidentally and impossible to distinguish from regular space.


I make the mistake regularly of writing a non-breaking space instead of
a regular space, when writing shell scripts. It produces errors that are
very difficult to detect.

You received this bug notification because you are a member of Desktop
Packages, which is subscribed to xorg in Ubuntu.

  Non-breaking space is easy to write accidentally and impossible to
  distinguish from regular space.

Status in Geany:
Status in gedit:
Status in GNOME Terminal:
Status in nano:
Status in xfce4-terminal:
Status in xorg package in Ubuntu:

Bug description:
  OS: from Hardy to at least Trusty.

  When you use Finnish keyboard, you have to hold Alt Gr down to type |
  or \ or certain other characters. When typing a shell command, you may
  often want to enter a space character after such characters. But it
  easily happens that Alt Gr is still down when you press space, and
  consequently you type non-breaking space character U+00A0 (at least,
  if you use UTF-8 keyboard layout, which is default in Ubuntu).

  $cd /tmp ; echo 0 > foo\ bar ; ls "foo bar"
  ls: cannot access foo bar: No such file or directory
  $cat foo bar | grep 0
  No command ' grep' found, but there are 16 similar ones
   grep: command not found

  Besides it may be hard to see the typing error, as non-breaking space
  character looks exactly same as regular space character.

  A way to avoid such typos would be to use another keyboard shortcut
  for non-breaking space. Besides non-breaking space should look
  different than regular space in terminal emulators and in editors.

  A workaround in to run
  setxkbmap -option "nbsp:none"
  to make <Alt Gr><space> type regular space character,
  and use `printf '\u00a0'` or `printf "\xc2\xa0"` to have a non-breaking space in scripts and in command line.

  Non-breaking space can be typed (in GTK apps) by <Ctrl><Shift>u 00a0<Enter>, if needed, but it looks exactly like a regular space.
  For me, <Super><Space> would be a good shortcut for non-breaking space.

To manage notifications about this bug go to: