On Tue, 28 Sep 1999, Kenneth Whistler wrote:
> The strawman I was addressing was Frank's implication that some
> processes would fail in this realm because they would sit and hang
> waiting forever for the combining mark that never showed up for dinner,
> or that you would get false negative and false positive matches that
> couldn't be programmed around because of the placement of combining
> marks. -- Not the redisplay flicker issue on a terminal when rendering
> trailing combining marks.
Indeed. However, for the same reason the flicker happens, Unicode
combining characters break with 0-lookahead string matching  like that
in "expect". This obviously cannot be fixed.
In UTF-8 over a TTY, you cannot tell the difference between
a <very-long-pause-indeed> <combining-ring-above>
unless you use a timeout-based system, which should be avoided for Very
This is especially bad for keypress-based apps whose users may wish to
define different commands for "a" and "a-ring-above". This is an actual
This cannot be fixed, but pressure to move to canonically-decomposed forms
of text will make the problem more noticable.
1. I'm not sure what the proper term for that type of matching is. You
know what I mean anyway.
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