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Re: utf-16le vs utf-16-le

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: utf-16le vs utf-16-le
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 09:57:16 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

>> These two encodings have confusingly similar names, but significantly
>> different semantics: one expects a BOM, the other does not.  (I'll bet
>> a sixpack of beer that most of you will not know which one is which.)
>> A similar problem exists with the -be variant of UTF-16.

> The correct names for "without BOM" versions are utf-16le
> and utf-16be (RFC2781).

> The two coding systems utf-16-le and utf-16-be were
> introduced as "with BOM" version by Dave.  I noticed that
> those names are very confusing when I was going to introduce
> "without BOM" versions as utf-16be and utf-16le.  But as it
> was after the release of some official version of Emacs
> (perhaps 21.3), to keep backward compatiblity, I couldn't
> delete utf-16-be/le.  So, I renamed them as
> utf-16be-with-signature and utf-16le-with-signature and make
> utf-16-be and utf-16-le just their aliases hoping that new
> people use only these names:
>   utf-16 utf-16le utf-16be utf-16le-with-signature utf-16be-with-signature

That makes sense.

> Stefan, if you think it's ok to break backward compatiblity
> here, I'll delete alises utf-16-be and utf-16-le.

Can you please check Eamcs's own code as well as try and see if other
packages might rely on them?  I expect that most external packages would
be OK since they'd either not care about it or else they'd probably
already have to handle the case where utf-16-be is absent (for
compatibility with Emacs-21.1 and/or XEmacs).


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