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Re: [Chicken-users] ditching syntax-case modules for the utf8 egg

From: Kon Lovett
Subject: Re: [Chicken-users] ditching syntax-case modules for the utf8 egg
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2008 08:22:38 -0700

Summary: I want a byte-string API. I want string integrations. I want global UTF8 strings.

Is Chicken to be a development tool for all kinds of software, including i18n applications for general users (my major focus, all indications to the contrary), or for in-house tools only.

Text is still the method for communication btwn people & machines. People like to use their native "tongue". Programmers like to use common APIs.

The current method of relying on (as opposed to using) integrations is unacceptable. But a separate namespace string API (for text strings, not binary strings) is also unacceptable. An arbitrary text algorithm should work w/ byte-strings & utf8-strings. The programmer using the algorithm makes the "call".

An application should be all byte-strings or all utf8-strings (Alex's concern about character indices noted). Where an algorithm is concerned solely with binary data in byte-strings then explicitly use a byte-string API. (The same could apply to UTF8 but the "generic" string API is fine for this case.)

I may be missing something but an algorithm that processes both text & binary data is pretty rare. While common sources & sinks exist there is usually a way to determine the "type" & direct the stream accordingly.

(IMHO the situation w/ numbers is actually worse.)

Best Wishes,

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