Re: Unicode & space in programming & l10n

From: Jon Hanna (
Date: Thu Sep 21 2006 - 09:50:13 CDT

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    Kenneth Whistler wrote:
    > William Poser wrote:
    >>I'm confused as to the sense in which C and C++
    >>"don't support the Unicode character model".
    > Before Philippe weighs in with the inevitable opus ;-),
    > I think the main point is that neither C nor C++ have
    > a native CHARACTER datatype that is based on Unicode.
    > And for many years partisans of C and C++ have claimed
    > that that was a *good* thing, because it meant that
    > programs could be written "portably", to not care
    > what charset they were running under.

    I'd say that it's historically a good thing. It's true that it would be
    nice if C and C++ had full native support for Unicode and nothing else,
    but no more true than if someone had had the foresight to invent Unicode
    before ASCII, EBCDIC and all local character sets and related
    technologies were invented.

    > Personally I always considered that a misconstrual of
    > what it meant to write portable code, but that is
    > perhaps for another thread...

    It dealt with one of the problems in writing code to run on different
    machines that Unicode later dealt with more comprehensively. If your
    code assumed ASCII and you tried to run it on a machine that assumed
    EBCDIC it didn't work. Sounds like a portability question to me.

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