> >    3. No (first-class) unicode support (*)
>
> Not a big issue.  I can write web apps that use a variety of different
> encodings, and that converts between them with Iconv.  Ruby doesn't care.
> It's all just strings of data,  I would think that given the large number of
> Japanese users of the language, if this were really much of a problem, it
> would have been addressed long before now.

Actually what I've found is that most Japanese don't use Unicode at
all, but one of the other encodings like Shift-JIS. (I live and work
in Japan.)