Re: Re[2]: Should I laugh or cry?

From: Mark Leisher (
Date: Wed Dec 18 1996 - 17:17:03 EST

    Glenn> I couldn't agree with you more. I'm deeply mired in attempting to
    Glenn> build a cross-platform product (win,mac,8 unix flavors, qnx, os/9,
    Glenn> psos,...) written primarily in C and consistently use UCS-2
    Glenn> character data throughout. The most significant problems I face
    Glenn> are:

    Glenn> 1. lack of compiler support for wchar_t (and wide string literals in
    Glenn> particular); or if a compiler supports wchar_t, then lack of control
    Glenn> over whether 16-bits or 32-bits are used.

    Glenn> 2. lack of standard runtime support for wchar_t signatures; i.e.,
    Glenn> there needs to be a standard set of wcs entry points for string.h,
    Glenn> ctype.h, stdlib.h, stdio.h, etc.

Lots of suffering to be had doing cross-platform multilingual stuff.
Inconsistencies across platforms is one of the major reasons we avoid
depending on compilers/OS/Windowing system on any platform (as far as

The ideal situation would have Unicode support at the OS level, but given what
I've seen so far, cross-platform multilingual development will be a
complicated mess for quite some time to come. Current vendor-provided Unicode
support varies widely in quality and coverage, not to mention being mutually

It will probably take some sort of singular event for vendors to agree on a
common Unicode API. Anything that affects hotly contested market share does.

    Martin> Gets easier with overloading in C++. For some cases, i.e. ctype.h,
    Martin> the problem is that the semantics have to be extended (and agreed
    Martin> upon) before getting the libraries.

Java is getting better too. But we need this stuff yesterday, if not sooner!
And for less than the cost of a Boeing 747!
Mark Leisher "A designer knows he has achieved perfection
Computing Research Lab not when there is nothing left to add, but
New Mexico State University when there is nothing left to take away."
Box 30001, Dept. 3CRL -- Antoine de Saint-Exup'ery
Las Cruces, NM 88003

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:33 EDT