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Re: Using libunistring for string comparisons et al

From: Andy Wingo
Subject: Re: Using libunistring for string comparisons et al
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2011 13:31:30 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.2 (gnu/linux)


On Wed 16 Mar 2011 02:12, Mark H Weaver <address@hidden> writes:

> Ludovic, Andy and I discussed this on IRC, and came to the conclusion
> that UTF-8 should be the encoding assumed by functions such as
> scm_c_define, scm_c_define_gsubr, scm_c_define_gsubr_with_generic,
> scm_c_export, scm_c_define_module, scm_c_resolve_module,
> scm_c_use_module, etc.

Can we step back a little and revisit this decision?

Clearly, we need to specify the encoding for these procedures, and have
it not be locale encoding.  However I don't think we would be breaking
anyone's code if we simply restricted it to 7-bit ASCII.

I am quite sensitive to the "justice" argument -- that we not restrict
the names our users give to Scheme identifiers, or the characters they
use in their strings.  But these values typically come from literals in
C source code, which has no portable superset of ASCII.

Furthermore, such a default would not restrict our users at all -- they
can always use the non-_c_ variants with a symbol explicitly constructed
with (e.g.) scm_from_utf8_symbol.

Finally, users are moving away from these functions anyway.  The thing
to do now is to write Scheme, not C: and in Scheme we do the Right

So let's not let this particular consideration weigh too heavily on our
choice of character encoding.

                              *   *   *

And on the meta-level... I'm really happy with Guile 2.0, that we've got
more traffic on the mailing list, more contributors (like yourself!),
more folks on IRC.  This is all fantastic.  We need to take advantage of
this energy, but also not be overwhelmed by it ;-)

Important discussions should still take place on the mailing list, with
due calmness and consideration.  This allows everyone affected to
participate, whether or not they use IRC and happen to be online then.

Also, just from a personal perspective, I find that I think much better
when looking at a message-mode buffer than at an IRC window ;-)

Back to this question, though: I don't know what to think yet.  I'll
read the thread again.

Best regards,


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