At 1:50 PM +0900 8/1/02, Curt Sampson wrote:
>On Thu, 1 Aug 2002, Hal E. Fulton wrote:
>
>>  Seriously, since you have some expertise, I'm sure your knowledge will
>>  be valuable in improving Ruby... talk to vruz also.
>
>I doubt it. My opinion of the matter is that the correct way to
>do things is to go with Unicode internally. (This does not rule
>out processing non-Unicode things, but you process them as binary
>byte-strings, not as character strings.) You lose a little bit of
>functionality this way, but overall it's easy, fast, and gives you
>everything you really need.
>
>Unfortunately, a lot of Japanese programmers disagree with this. They
>feel the need, for example, to have separate code points for a single
>character, simply because one stroke is slightly different between the
>way Japanese and Chinese people write it. (The meaning is exactly the
>same.)

This is just a comment from an interested but mildly uninvolved 
bystander (though I'm dealing with similar issues with Parrot) but... 
Given that the people who've made these decisions have made them 
about their native language (a language that is neither your nor my 
native language) perhaps it's a bit presumptuous to decide that what 
they've done is wrong and some other way is better. It'd be about the 
same as someone else deciding that there's no need for a character 
set to deal with upper and lowercase roman letters since, after all, 
they represent the same thing. Or that you're only supporting 
whatever Esperanto needs since that should be good enough for anyone.

This is someone's *language* you're dealing with. It existed long 
before computers did, it's deeply rooted in culture, and is by far 
more important than any computer issue. Language is important--it 
conveys meaning and culture, and is the data. The computer is a tool. 
If the tool can't deal with the language, it means the tool is 
broken, not the language.
-- 
                                         Dan

--------------------------------------"it's like this"-------------------
Dan Sugalski                          even samurai
dan / sidhe.org                         have teddy bears and even
                                       teddy bears get drunk