Re: Representing Unix filenames in Unicode

From: Hans Aberg (
Date: Tue Nov 29 2005 - 09:07:22 CST

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "Re: Representing Unix filenames in Unicode"

    On 29 Nov 2005, at 15:42, Doug Ewell wrote:

    >>> 1. I don't see how Unicode, or any other coded character set,
    >>> can be considered a human-to-human interface. Very few humans
    >>> communicate directly with each other by means of character codes.
    >> What about the email you just wrote?
    > That went through several computers, didn't it?
    > Perhaps we simply have different ideas of this whole "human-to-
    > human" and "computer-to-computer" distinction, in which case
    > there's no sense arguing about it.

    Yes, you are thinking about all the data passed through, not only the
    structural parts making up the actual interface.

    > My point is, Unicode is no different in this regard than any other
    > coded character set since BCDIC.

    Right. One should note that the UNIX filesystem at low level does not
    need even ASCII. There are prohibitions about the characters (or
    bytes) '/' and '\0 appearing in filenames, but one could easily get
    around it by finding suitable ways to encode these characters when
    passed to a higher level. At a higher level, one needs then to think
    through what consequences such a change might have on the whole of
    UNIX. But the advantage would be that there would be no problem at
    least being able to handle files with strange filenames coming from
    other filesystems. The method would be the same for UTF-8, or any
    other byte oriented character encoding.

       Hans Aberg

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