On 2/8/07, Steven Lumos <steven / lumos.us> wrote:
> There must be some kind of impedance mismatch going on here.  Is
> somebody really arguing that maybe it should NOT be possible to read
> binary data into a String and process individual bytes efficiently?

It shouldn't be something that a lot of time is spent optimizing, for sure.

> Maybe you mean to argue that String should not be used for non-textual
> data, even though it always has been before.  In that case maybe we
> need something like NArray in core.  (In core, not ext, please.)

Correct. As Unicode becomes ever more pervasive, Ruby's lack of
support for it becomes an increasing liability. However, the downside
of Unicode is that programmers absolutely must stop thinking of
strings as arrays of 8-bit bytes.

If you want to process chunks of 8-bit data, you should process them
as arrays of bytes. Perhaps a ByteString class (that behaves like Ruby
1.8 strings) would be useful?


mathew
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