Re: Unicode & space in programming & l10n

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Thu Sep 21 2006 - 00:12:40 CDT

  • Next message: Asmus Freytag: "Re: Unicode & space in programming & l10n"

    Guy Steele <Guy dot Steele at sun dot com> wrote:

    >> (laughs) Programming languages don't get "deprecated" like last
    >> month's fashions.
    > Sure they do. PASCAL and COBOL are probably (informally) in a
    > deprecated state by now. And when was the last time you used TRAC, or
    > SNOBOL, or JOVIAL, or COMIT, or MADCAP, or JOSS, or FOCAL, or PPL, or
    > ECL, or PL/I, or RPG, or MODULA-3 (let alone MODULA)? There are
    > indeed fashions in programming languages---they just change over
    > periods of decades rather than months or years.

    I've spent a lot of time lately thinking of "deprecation" in a formal
    sense, as defined by a standards organization. I agree that a great
    many programming languages have fallen out of common use (or in some
    cases, any use), but to me "deprecated" implies a big red DEPRECATED
    stamp applied by someone with authority to do so.

    > It may help to know that the word "deprecated" is a term of art within
    > the programming language standards community, though it is usually
    > applied to specific features rather than entire languages. For
    > example, the "assigned GOTO" was formally deprecated in Fortran and
    > eventually discarded.

    Within a language, certain features can of course be deprecated (like
    assigned GOTO). HTML is chock-full of them.

    > That said, while I have plenty of other reasons to deprecate C and
    > C++, I see no reason why C and C++ standards committees might not
    > adopt extensions that would support the Unicode character model.
    > There are already libraries defined for those languages to support
    > "wide" (16-bit) characters.

    I write plenty of C++ that supports Unicode, because I use MFC and the
    CString class and the _UNICODE compiler directive. Vendor-specific?
    You bet it is, but that isn't the point.

    Doug Ewell
    Fullerton, California, USA
    RFC 4645  *  UTN #14

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