Re: Unicode end-users

From: Glen Perkins (
Date: Fri Aug 01 1997 - 17:03:31 EDT

Markus G. Kuhn wrote:
> Unlike Windows, Plan9 does not have separate system calls and library
> functions for Unicode and for 8-bit code pages. You cannot avoid to
> use UTF-8 under Plan9 as an applications programmer.

Are there any signs that Plan9 will ever be anything more than a science
project? Is Plan9, and what it does or doesn't do, likely to matter more
than, say, the Amiga?

> For Unix, UTF-8 as the exclusive only way of representing characters
> is clearly the way to go, because there are no character set switching
> mechanisms and in order to minimize changes necessary to existing software,
> the encoding must be ASCII compatible.

Are commercial unix vendors (Sun, HP, SGI, etc.) making any moves toward
switching the OS over to Unicode/ISO 10646, or are they leaving it to
application developers to add "support" as a "feature" if they feel so

What about Linux? What are the chances that ISO 10646 will ever be more
fundamental to Linux than, say, JPEG or any other popular data type
that's left to applications to support (or ignore if it's too much

What does "Posix compliant" *require* of an OS with regard to ISO 10646?

I can't count the number of times I've been told by a skilled
applications programmer that he wasn't considering adding Unicode
support because "nobody on my team speaks Lower Slobovian or Egyptian
Hieroglyphics or whatever". Leaving Unicode support to the application
developers is a Bad Idea that will make it difficult for the platform to
keep up with Unicode/ISO 10646-based OSes. Microsoft, and Apple for what
it's worth, are (mostly) basing their new OSes on Unicode, so future
applications on those platforms are going to be Unicode-based by
default. Is this likely to happen on major Unix platforms as well, or
will Unix programmers all need to switch to Java to achieve the same
effect ;-) ?

__Glen Perkins__

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:36 EDT