RE: ASCII and Unicode lifespan

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Thu May 19 2005 - 14:38:55 CDT

  • Next message: Peter Constable: "RE: AW: AW: ASCII and Unicode lifespan"

    > From: []
    On Behalf
    > Of Alexander Kh.

    > That I realize. Especially when it is Microsoft who's paying most part
    of the
    > bill - I totally foresee that their systems will be based on what they
    > for.

    If Microsoft disappeared tomorrow, what Mark said would still apply to
    everybody else.

    > However, many people still pay for traffic, and switching from local
    > encoding to unicode will mean double the traffic right away.

    A doubling of size in the text content they interchange pales in
    comparison to the photos sent from cell phones or in email, or all the
    graphics images they download when they surf the Web, or the MP3 files
    they download. If all someone ever does is send/receive plain-text
    email, then this argument is valid, but I don't think there are many
    people like that today.

    > However, if using
    > state-machine approach, encodings can be changed on-the-fly by using a
    > escape-code. That's one way of getting benifits of both approach, not
    to mention
    > the fact that local encodings are more well-thought in design.

    A better approach, rather than using multiple character encodings, is to
    use a transfer-encoding syntax that can compress the content, such as

    > I represent a young generation, and I still have hope in bright
    future. I don't
    > believe that there will be many Pan-Unicode fonts anyway and using
    double amount
    > of space for small letter sets - that's a big waste.

    The availability of pan-Unicode fonts is orthogonal. (I also believe
    such fonts will remain rare.) Anybody from an older generation that was
    forced to work with multiple language-specific encodings, or even
    stateful schemes like ISO 2022, will tell you most assuredly that
    Unicode is, relatively speaking, much more hopeful for you than was they
    had to deal with.

    > Consider this example: suppose I have a bilingual database:
    English-Russian for
    > example. I am not planning to use all the Chinese Hieroglyphs, so why
    would I use
    > 16-bit characters???

    Unless you're storing this database on a cell phone or PDA, what do you
    care? Hard disk volume is cheap.

    > ... This will result
    > in big overhead, requiring huge amounts of programming and resources
    to map all
    > those
    > orderings and other particularities into one standard interface. The
    local encodings
    > are aware of those particularities and are designed for a particular
    purpose each.
    > It will be more reasonable to continue using local encodings for some

    If you're creating an application that needs to work for only certain
    languages, using Unicode doesn't require you to support *all* of Unicode
    in that app.

    Peter Constable

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