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Re: guarantees of u8_mbtouc/u8_strmbtouc

From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: guarantees of u8_mbtouc/u8_strmbtouc
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2010 22:24:21 +0200
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Hi Paolo,

> Still, without safety u8_strmbtouc(puc, s) uses the same code as 
> u8_mbtouc(puc, s, SIZE_MAX), which makes pretty much my point.  I think 
> it is safe and actually very useful to document u8_mbtouc/u16_mbtouc as 
> looking only one byte (resp. one short) beyond the first complete character.

I find it better to have clear specifications that the programmer can easily
remember. The libunistring manual [1] states:
  "Argument pairs (s, n) denote a string s[0..n-1] with exactly n units."

If we were to document "u8_mbtouc accesses only as many bytes as the first
Unicode character makes up", the question immediately comes up: what about
invalid and incomplete Unicode characters? Like
   { 0xC3 }, n = 1
or { 0xE4, 0x30 } n = 2.
You see how such a definition quickly gets ambiguous. Such ambiguities later
lead to bugs in the programs.


[1] http://www.gnu.org/software/libunistring/manual/html_node/Conventions.html

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