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

From: Glenn Adams (
Date: Thu Aug 14 1997 - 20:40:11 EDT

At 11:56 AM 8/14/97 -0700, wrote:
>Glenn Adams writes:
> 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.
> . . .
> Of course the pace of this transition is certainly an arguable (and unknown)
> datum at this time.
>The scene in my crystal ball is considerably different than

Prognisticators are fated to differ. We both seem equally certain of our
alternate futures.

>Having been in computers for almost 15 years and i18n
>for 10, I've seen countless examples of companies and
>countries choosing different solutions for a problem, and
>only one where they all chose the SAME solution. This single
>example is traffic lights -- in all places I've ever visited,
>red means stop and green means go.

Choosing a solution today doesn't mean it will remain the solution.
I recall a time when analog computers were all the vogue. I don't
see to many remaining in use today. I recall 6 bit and 9 bit "bytes";
again, both seem to have fallen out of use.

Whatever may be the fate of character encoding, I'm sure that any
given future will have at least two ways of denoting the end of a line
and that big-enders and little-enders will continue to feud over which
side of the egg is preferred. I shall stand with my optimistic position,
though, that they will be interchanging their ideas using some flavor of
Unicode (that is, unless long-distance telepathy becomes the rage).

>You think this may prompt replies?? :-) )

Only witty ones, I should hope.


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