----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Urabe Shyouhei" <shyouhei / ruby-lang.org>
> Have you read Matz's post abount yen sign problem?  Converter IS a
> problem; you cannot make a converter over (Encoding A -> Unicode ->
> Encoding A).  That must lose some input.  Data loss is the worst thing
> to introduce, so ruby asks you to take the risk by explicitly calling a
> conversion method.

Yes I have read it.
Do you refuse to drive a car because you may have a crash?

I was only suggesting conversion to Unicode as a way of preventing an error 
being raised.
If you need to work with encodings that are not Unicode compatible, I was 
suggesting that Ruby works exactly as it does at the moment. The conversion 
was only suggested when you deal with incompatible encodings, which is not 
going to be common, but is something that programmers whose software is used 
internationally have to deal with. Also I suggested that there should be a 
way of turning it off, just in case you are worried that the conversion 
might happen accidentally.

For my application (and I think for many other people's too) it is *far* 
better to possibly screw up a character or two than to have to write lots of 
ugly code to cope with the incompatibility. The alternative is transcoding 
to UTF-8, which will mean those characters will be screwed up anyhow.

Mike