Re: Perception that Unicode is 16-bit (was: Re: Surrogate space i

From: John Cowan (
Date: Fri Feb 23 2001 - 12:11:54 EST

Ayers, Mike wrote:

> After
> all, pretty much every ceiling ever established in computing has been broken
> through, and there is no reason to believe that it won't happen again!

On the contrary. There *are* reasons to believe that it won't happen
in the case of character encoding.

As for breaking through every ceiling, consider the number of
different assembly-language op codes. Do you foresee computer chips
with 65,536 different opcodes? How about 4,294,967,296 distinct
opcodes? I thought not.

Or consider IPv6 network addresses. There are
340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 of them. They
won't be assigned densely according to current plans, but they
*could* be, and that would be enough IP addresses to have
a few billion addresses for every soil bacterium in every
square centimeter of soil on the planet. Do you really believe
we are going to "break through" that?

There is / one art             || John Cowan <>
no more / no less              ||
to do / all things             ||
with art- / lessness           \\ -- Piet Hein

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