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Re: %default-port-conversion-strategy and string ports

From: Mark H Weaver
Subject: Re: %default-port-conversion-strategy and string ports
Date: Thu, 31 May 2012 17:25:24 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.92 (gnu/linux)

address@hidden (Ludovic Courtès) writes:
> David Kastrup <address@hidden> skribis:
>> Shouldn't strings be in "internal encoding" anyway?  The whole point of
>> a string is to be an array of characters.  Not an array of arbitrarily
>> encoded bytes.
> Yes, but I was referring to “string ports”, which may actually be fed
> arbitrary binary data, not just characters.

For the record, I agree with David.  String ports should be textual
ports, not binary ports.  In particular, you should be able to
write/read _any_ character to/from a string port, regardless of what the
current default port encoding happens to be.

SRFI-6 (string ports) says nothing about port encodings, and yet
portable code written for SRFI-6 will fail on Guile 2.0 unless the
string is constrained to whatever the default port encoding happens to
be.  This is not just a theoretical issue; it has caused trouble in
practice, e.g.:

Unfortunately, we are now in an awkward situation.  The current behavior
of Guile 2.0 is conceptually broken and breaks portable SRFI-6 code, and
yet it is possible that some users have grown to depend on our current


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