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bug#10627: char-ready? is broken for multibyte encodings

From: Mark H Weaver
Subject: bug#10627: char-ready? is broken for multibyte encodings
Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2013 19:06:30 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.2 (gnu/linux)

Andy Wingo <address@hidden> writes:

> On Sun 24 Feb 2013 21:14, Mark H Weaver <address@hidden> writes:
>> Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see any semantic problem here,
>> and it seems straightforward to implement.  'char-ready?' should simply
>> read bytes until either a complete character is available, or no more
>> bytes are ready.  In either case, all the bytes should then be 'unget'
>> before returning.  What's the problem?
> The problem is that char-ready? should not read anything.

Okay, but if all bytes read are later *unread*, and the reads never
block, then why does it matter?  The reads in my proposed implementation
are just an internal implementation detail, and it seems to me that the
user cannot tell the difference, as long as he does not peek underneath
the Scheme port abstraction.

If you prefer, perhaps a nicer way to think about it is that
'char-ready?' looks ahead in the putback buffer and/or the read buffer
(refilling it in a non-blocking mode if needed), and returns #t iff a
complete character is present in the buffer(s), or EOF is reached.
However, is seems to me that implementing this in terms of read-byte and
unget-byte is simpler, because it avoids duplication of the logic
regarding putback buffers and refilling of buffers.  Maybe there's some
reason why this is a bad idea, but I haven't heard one.

I agree that 'char-ready?' is an antiquated interface, but it is
nonetheless part of the R5RS (and Guile since approximately forever),
and it is the only way to do a non-blocking read in portable R5RS.  It
seems to me that we ought to try to implement it as well as we can, no?

> If you want to peek, use peek-char.

Okay, but that's a totally different tool with a different use case.
It cannot be used to do non-blocking reads.

> Note that if the stream is at EOF, char-ready? should return #t.


More thoughts?


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