Re: UTF-8, ISO C Am.1, and POSIX

From: Glenn Adams (
Date: Wed Aug 13 1997 - 12:48:35 EDT

At 08:37 AM 8/13/97 -0700, wrote:

>Standards are asked to support different behavior and philosophies.
>You want something that makes Unicode pre-eminent. This being the
>Unicode mailing list, there probably are lots of others who agree.
>But there are others out there who need/want to support other
>encodings, and a code set independent design like POSIX meets
>their needs.

A good case can be made that the only reason they needed a code set
independent design was because Unicode did not exist at that time. It's
existence now obviates the POSIX design philosophy. Eventually, all
systems will migrate to Unicode/10646 as their default character set.
As they do this, they will rely on the defined semantics of Unicode/10646
and begin migrating away from the hands-off approach taken by the POSIX
model. The POSIX model will eventually become irrelevant.

Of course the pace of this transition is certainly an arguable (and unknown)
datum at this time. The global expansion of the Internet and the Web will
be a strong catalyst in this process. Closed systems that don't care about
or don't want global access can continue to benefit from the POSIX model.
I suppose it's ironic that a model designed in the context of "open systems"
will eventually be usefuly only for "closed systems."

Glenn Adams

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