|1.0.0||Jan 5, 2021|
#1762 in Command line utilities
- What does this tool do?
- How to install?
- How to use?
- How to build?
- Do you want to contribute?
1. What does this tool do? Top ▲
chr is a command-line utility that is meant to give various information about Unicode characters. Currently, this information includes a character's Unicode escape sequence and its name, block, category and age as stated in the Unicode Character Database (UCD). The UCD in its current version 13.0 is the main and only source of information for now. More properties and sources will be added in later releases.
2. How to install? Top ▲
You can download the self-contained executable for your platform above and put it in a place of your choice.
chr is also hosted on crates.io, the official Rust package registry. If you are a Rust developer and already have the Rust toolchain installed, you can install by compiling from source using cargo, the Rust package manager:
cargo install chr
3. How to use? Top ▲
When running the executable for the first time, an SQLite database that is bundled with it will be unzipped
to the current user's home directory. It can be found in a hidden directory under the path
This database is queried each time chr is used. It is initially created when building the source code.
Various UCD files are downloaded from the internet, the relevant information is copied into the SQLite database and
then the database is zipped and included within the executable.
$ chr -h chr 1.0.0 © 2021 Peter M. Stahl <email@example.com> Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 Downloadable from https://crates.io/crates/chr Source code at https://github.com/pemistahl/chr chr is a command-line tool that gives information about Unicode characters. USAGE: chr [FLAGS] <CHARS>... --name <NAME> FLAGS: --no-paging Disables paging for the terminal output -c, --colorize Provides syntax highlighting for the terminal output -h, --help Prints help information -v, --version Prints version information OPTIONS: -n, --name <NAME> Searches for characters by their name as stated in the Unicode Character Database ARGS: <CHARS>... One or more characters separated by blank space
The tool is mainly meant to search for information about specific characters. All characters of interest, separated by blank space, can be given to chr at the same time. The entries are sorted by their Unicode escape sequence in ascending order:
$ chr Ä @ $ ß ! 1. ! U+0021 EXCLAMATION MARK Basic Latin Other Punctuation since 1.1 2. $ U+0024 DOLLAR SIGN Basic Latin Currency Sign since 1.1 3. @ U+0040 COMMERCIAL AT Basic Latin Other Punctuation since 1.1 4. Ä U+00C4 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A WITH DIAERESIS Latin-1 Supplement Uppercase Letter since 1.1 5. ß U+00DF LATIN SMALL LETTER SHARP S Latin-1 Supplement Lowercase Letter since 1.1
It is also possible to search for characters by their official name in the UCD:
$ chr --name honey >>> 2 results found 1. 🍯 U+1F36F HONEY POT Miscellaneous Symbols and Pictographs Other Symbol since 6.0 2. 🐝 U+1F41D HONEYBEE Miscellaneous Symbols and Pictographs Other Symbol since 6.0
Long result lists are paged automatically in supported terminals for easier browsing.
The minus crate is used for this purpose.
Its key controls are documented in a
subsection of the project's readme.
If the paging is not deactivated automatically in unsupported terminals or if it does
not work as expected, it can be explicitly switched off using the
The result lists can be colorized as well with the
--colorize flag which produces
nicer looking output in supported terminals.
4. How to build? Top ▲
git clone https://github.com/pemistahl/chr.git cd chr cargo build
The source code is accompanied by some integration tests. For running them, simply say:
5. Alternatives Top ▲
An alternative tool named cha(rs) already exists that targets a similar purpose. Currently, it offers more character properties than chr. Unfortunately, it lacks a proper command-line interface, paging, colorization, and the presented information is not neatly arranged, in my opinion. It also bundles all the UCD files in its repository which is not necessary and impedes maintenance and future updates.
With chr, only the url to the new UCD version needs to be updated. Assuming that the format of the UCD files does not change between versions, this is all there is to it to provide chr with the newest data. The data presentation is focused on readability and concentrates on the most essential properties for now. Last but not least, the fact that chr is backed by an SQL database allows for both complex and performant queries, especially in later releases when the functionality gets extended.
6. Do you want to contribute? Top ▲
In case you want to contribute something to chr even though it's in a very early stage of development, then I encourage you to do so nevertheless. Do you have ideas for cool features? Or have you found any bugs so far? Feel free to open an issue or send a pull request. It's very much appreciated. :-)