From: Marcin 'Qrczak' Kowalczyk (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Dec 14 2004 - 18:15:49 CST
I describe here languages which exclusively use Unicode strings.
Some languages have both byte strings and Unicode strings (e.g. Python)
and then byte strings are generally used for strings exchanged with
the OS, the programmer is responsible for the conversion if he wishes
to use Unicode.
I consider situations when the encoding is implicit. For I/O of file
contents it's always possible to set the encoding explicitly somehow.
Corrections are welcome. This is mostly based on experimentation.
Strings are UTF-16.
Filenames are assumed to be in the locale encoding.
a) Interpreting. Bytes which cannot be converted are replaced by U+FFFD.
b) Creating. Characters which cannot be converted are replaced by "?".
Command line arguments and standard I/O are treated in the same way.
Strings are UTF-16.
Filenames are assumed to be in Java-modified UTF-8.
a) Interpreting. If a filename cannot be converted, a directory listing
contains a null instead of a string object.
b) Creating. All Java characters are representable in Java-modified UTF-8.
Obviously not all potential filenames can be represented.
Command line arguments are interpreted according to the locale.
Bytes which cannot be converted are skipped.
Standard I/O works in ISO-8859-1 by default. Obviously all input is
accepted. On output characters above U+00FF are replaced by "?".
Strings are UTF-16.
Filenames use the list of encodings from the MONO_EXTERNAL_ENCODINGS
environment variable, with UTF-8 implicitly added at the end. These
encodings are tried in order.
a) Interpreting. If a filename cannot be converted, it's skipped in
a directory listing.
The documentation says that if a filename, a command line argument
etc. looks like valid UTF-8, it is treated as such first, and
MONO_EXTERNAL_ENCODINGS is consulted only in remaining cases.
The reality seems to not match this (mono-1.0.5).
b) Creating. If UTF-8 is used, Non-characters are converted to
pseudo-UTF-8, U+0000 throws an exception (System.ArgumentException:
Path contains invalid chars), paired surrogates are treated
correctly, and an isolated surrogate causes an internal error:
** ERROR **: file strenc.c: line 161 (mono_unicode_to_external): assertion failed: (utf8!=NULL)
Command line arguments are treated in the same way, except that if an
argument cannot be converted, the program dies at start:
Cannot determine the text encoding for argument 1 (xxx\xb1\xe6\xea).
Please add the correct encoding to MONO_EXTERNAL_ENCODINGS and try again.
Console.WriteLine emits UTF-8. Paired surrogates are treated
correctly, non-characters and unpaired surrogates are converted to
Console.ReadLine interprets text as UTF-8. Bytes which cannot be
converted are skipped.
---- Depending on the convention used by a particular function and on imported packages, a Perl string is treated either as Perl-modified Unicode (with character values up to 32 bits or 64 bits depending on the architecture) or as an unspecified locale encoding. It has two internal representations: ISO-8859-1 and Perl-modified UTF-8 (with an extended range). If every Perl string is assumed to be a Unicode string, then filenames are effectively ISO-8859-1. a) Interpreting. Characters up to 0xFF are used. b) Creating. If the filename has no characters above 0xFF, it is converted to ISO-8859-1. Otherwise it is converted to Perl-modified UTF-8 (all characters, not just those above 0xFF). Command line arguments and standard I/O are treated in the same way, i.e. ISO-8859-1 on input and a mixture of ISO-8859-1 and UTF-8 on output, depending on the contents. This behavior is modifiable by importing various packages and using interpreter invocation flags. When Perl is told that command line arguments are UTF-8, the behavior for strings which cannot be converted is inconsistent: sometimes it's treated as ISO-8859-1, sometimes an error is signalled. Haskell ------- Haskell nominally uses Unicode. There is no conversion framework standarized or implemented yet though. Implementations which support more than 256 characters currently assume ISO-8859-1 for filenames, command line arguments and all I/O, taking the lowest 8 bits of a character code on output. Common Lisp: Clisp ------------------ Common Lisp standard doesn't say anything about string encoding. In Clisp strings are UTF-32 (internally optimized as UCS-2 and ISO-8859-1 when possible). Any character code up to U+10FFFF is allowed, including non-characters and isolated surrogates. Filenames are assumed to be in the locale encoding. a) Interpreting. If a byte cannot be converted, an exception is thrown. b) Creating. If a character cannot be converted, an exception is thrown. Kogut (my language; this is the current state - can be changed) ----- Strings are UTF-32 (internally optimized as ISO-8859-1 when possible). Currently any character code up to U+10FFFF is allowed, including non-characters and isolated surrogates. Filenames are assumed to be in the locale encoding. I plan to add an environment variable which can override this default. A program can itself set the encoding to something else, perhaps locally during execution of some code. It can use a conversion which puts U+FFFD / "?" instead of throwing an exception on error, or which does something else. a) Interpreting. If a byte cannot be converted, an exception is thrown. b) Creating. If a character cannot be converted, an exception is thrown. U+0000 terminates the filename (this should be fixed). Command line arguments and standard I/O are treated in the same way. GNOME ----- GNOME uses UTF-8 internally, or sometimes byte strings in other encodings. I guess filenames are passed as byte strings. AFAIK sometimes filenames are expressed as URLs, even internally when it's invisible to the user, and then various unsafe bytes are escaped as two hex digits preceded by the percent sign. From the programmer's point of view the original byte strings are generally used. Filename encoding matters for the display though, so here I describe the user's point of view. If the environment variable G_FILENAME_ENCODING is present, it specifies the encoding of filenames, unless it is @locale which means the encoding of the locale. If it's not present but G_BROKEN_FILENAMES is present, filenames are assumed to be in the locale encoding. If neither variable is present, filenames are assumed to be in UTF-8. a) Interpreting. If a filename cannot be converted to the selected encoding, all non-ASCII bytes are shown as octal numbers preceded by the backslash, as hex numbers preceded by the percent sign, or as question marks, depending on the situation (I can observe all three cases in gedit). What is physically stored is the byte string and the file is opened successfully. b) Creating. If a character cannot be represented, the application refuses to save the file until a good filename is entered. Mozilla ------- I don't know how it handles filenames internally. From the user's point of view it matters how it presents a local directory listing. Filenames are assumed to be in the locale encoding. If a filename cannot be converted, it's skipped. If it can be converted but contains characters like 0x80-0x9F in ISO-8859-2, they are displayed as question marks and the file is inaccessible. -- __("< Marcin Kowalczyk \__/ email@example.com ^^ http://qrnik.knm.org.pl/~qrczak/
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue Dec 14 2004 - 18:22:56 CST