Re: minimizing size (was Re: allocation of Georgian letters)

From: Michael S. Kaplan (
Date: Wed Feb 06 2008 - 23:11:58 CST

  • Next message: William J Poser: "Re: minimizing size (was Re: allocation of Georgian letters)"

    From: "William J Poser" <>

    > The mention of the issue of whether Georgian encodes in UTF-8 as two
    > bytes or three bytes is yet another instance of something that puzzles me.
    > Why do some people on this list seem to care so much about text size?
    > We now have such large storage devices, so much memory, and such high
    > network bandwidth, that it strikes me as very odd that anyone would care
    > very much about modest differences in the size of texts. Primary memory
    > is a bit less plentiful and using less can improve performance, so
    > the question of what representation to use for processing makes some
    > sense, but why people would care about how large a text is in UTF-8,
    > which is primarily intended for storage and transfer, mystifies me.
    > So, is this an essentially outdated obsession that some people have
    > not been able to shake? Are there people here working on applications
    > with so much text that modest differences in size are important? Are
    > some of you working in very restrictive environments such as embedded
    > systems or satellites? For whom does it really make a difference
    > how many bytes the UTF-8 encoding of their script requires?

    In a world where the "next million users" are making less than $2 a day and
    are unlikely to be buying a computer anytime soon, and the majority of
    cellular phones available will not support anything needing more than one
    byte for most letters, I'd say that the "obsession" with size is no an
    entirely outdated obsession....

    Also, when one looks at scripts side by side placed a decade ago for
    arbitrary reasons that lead to any inconvenience on the part of those who
    might want to use the script, it is preferable to have a better argument
    than "just cuz" because if that were so the companies selling primarily in
    countries that DO consider this to be an outdated notion could have
    allocated according to putting the more emerging markets in the smaller
    spaces and the more advanced ones in the three-byte area....

    Any time someone in the prime real estate makes the claim that "location
    does not matter" it is likely best to take it with a grain of salt! :-)

    MichKa [Microsoft]

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