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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: {arch} directory

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: {arch} directory
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 00:02:29 +0900
User-agent: Gnus/5.1001 (Gnus v5.10.1) XEmacs/21.5 (celery, linux)

>>>>> "Jason" == Jason McCarty <address@hidden> writes:

    Jason> Why would I encode ? as anything other than 0x3F? And why
    Jason> would I complain if arch gave me back exactly that?

ROTFLSHIPIMP!  I couldn't have asked for a better straight line!

You see (well, actually I suppose you don't :-( ), your system
substituted Unicode 003F for Unicode 0109, providing an apt example.
Fortunately, the difference between ĉ and ? is immediately evident to
my eye, so the bug was localized without trouble.

Now, what is fairly likely to happen on sophisticated systems is that
that character will be translated into a non-Unicode "native" encoding
of the _same_ character but different bytes, and any references to
that filename embedded in file content (eg, Makefiles) will fail to
match.  Arch will very precisely replicate that mistake, and transmit
it to other systems, where it may randomly start working again!  Or
randomly break in a different fashion.

And it will be just as impossible to see on screen as the difference
between a SPACE and a NO-BREAK SPACE, unless you know what to look for
and deliberately prevent your system from being "helpful".

    >> The only interesting restrictions are on ASCII characters,
    >> namely, the space.  (Which is a bloody stupid thing to have in
    >> a file name; all the systems that support that also know about

    Jason> Bah, space is a perfectly acceptable character in
    Jason> filenames.

That's simply false.  Even on systems that provide for it, there are
many contexts where things break; for example, constructs like
"less `which baseball.bat`" will necessarily fail if 'baseball.bat'
lives in 'C:\Program Files'.  Now suppose 'baseball.bat' lives in
'C:\Program&nbsp;Files'.  You and the shell can both Just DTRT.  No?

So it is perfectly _unnecessary_.

N.B. The user interface conventions that would provide convenient ways
to enter NBSP in filename contexts are left as an exercise.

Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.

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