Re: FW: Unicode Support in Win95

From: Glenn Adams (
Date: Thu Jan 23 1997 - 01:25:09 EST

At 07:03 PM 1/21/97 -0800, wrote:

>>>>>>You can not combine Windows 95 and Windows NT into one OS.
>>>>>>Windows 95 is a different OS from Windows NT.

The problem is one of naming (and marketing). You identify the API
suite for both of these OSs (and Win32s) with a single name "Win32".
This gives people the incorrect impression that there is a single,
consistent API, while, in truth, this is far from the case.

One of the significant problems with the Unix OS is that there are
so many different flavors and little consistency among them (although
this is improving). Microsoft should heed this history and work hard
to prevent the Win32 API from continuing to splinter into distinct,
incompatible environments, particularly in such an important substrate
as character coding.

I can attest to both the possibility and difficulty of building a
portable Unicode Win32 binary which can interoperate on NT, WIN95,
and WIN32S, having recently implemented an API translation layer and
forcing all API calls which contain (directly or indirectly) character
or string arguments or structure members to go through this layer.
I was glad to see that my solution was identical to that taken in
Office97. I can only say that it is unfortunate that MS itself did
not identify this requirement and provide the layer to developers
rather than force them to implement it on their own. I'm certain that
if this had been the case, there would be much less grumbling on the
part of developers. Instead, all developers hear is "use NT or do all
the hard work yourself." This is not a very practical or effective
response, and certain to provoke email of the sort that started this

Glenn Adams

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