From: Markus Kuhn <Markus.Kuhn@cl.cam.ac.uk>
To: Unicode List <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Friday, December 04, 1998 4:34 AM
Subject: Re: Linux & Unicode
>It is most important that the most basic Unix development tools such as
>xterm, emacs, vi, grep, bash, etc. become fully UTF-8 compliant first.
>It makes little sense to focus on new fancy widget sets like Qt and GTK+
>first before we haven't introduced UTF-8 in the classic basic tools.
Actually, I think it makes little sense to wait on pressuring Qt and GTK+ to
go Unicode until all of the legacy command line tools have been converted
first. That's like trying to lift a car using the wrong end of a lever.
GNOME and/or KDE may do for Linux what the Web did for the Internet: make it
popular among average consumers, who aren't generally fond of command-line
interfaces. If all the GUI apps on Linux were Unicode-based by default, and
they were the apps that really drove the widespread adoption of Linux, then
there would be tremendous pressure on the developers and maintainers of
legacy command line tools to upgrade them to Unicode.
I'm hardly advocating that you stop doing the wonderful work you're doing. I
just think that getting the Linux GUIs to be based on Unicode as early as
possible in their lifecycles, before all the (future) popular GUI apps get
saddled with single-byte legacy baggage, is probably a useful goal.
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