On Sep 17, 2008, at 8:01 AM, Yukihiro Matsumoto wrote:

> Besides that, Unicode is not a panacea.  Some character set
> (e.g. GB18030 for Chinese characters) is even bigger than Unicode.
> In fact, GB18030 is a super set of Unicode.

Also, Mojikyo is much larger than Unicode.

So, there are two reasonable goals:
1. Provide useful features for strings and characters in the general  
case, including non-Unicode data
2. Provide good support for Unicode

The problem is that the people who care about #1 and don't care about  
#2 very much, and vice versa.  The people who spend all their time  
doing Web/Internet stuff mostly only care about #2.  It seems that  
Unicode is important so Ruby should have some special low-level  
language facilities, especially for efficient access to codepoints.   
If we can do that without harming #1, then everyone should be happy.

  -T