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Re: Unibyte characters, strings, and buffers

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Unibyte characters, strings, and buffers
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2014 20:24:11 -0400

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Is there any need, nowadays, for a unibyte character to imply
a character set?

Originally unibyte buffers were meant as a backward compatibility
feature for old Emacs versions in which al buffers were unibyte.
Nowadays, I think we use unibyte buffers mainly (perhaps exclusively)
for buffers whose contents are largely not characters at all.
For those buffers, there is no reason to interpret the contents
as characters in any particular way.  We could consider them as
bytes, and nothing else.

This means converting those bytes to characters could be done by
explicit operations where you would specify what sort of conversion
you want.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
www.fsf.org  www.gnu.org
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