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Bug#99324: Default charset should be UTF-8

On 30-May-01, 22:25 (CDT), Cesar Eduardo Barros <cesarb@nitnet.com.br> wrote: 
> > - Making sure everything works with UTF-8 charset

On Fri, Jun 01, 2001 at 01:38:32PM -0500, Steve Greenland wrote:
> Does this mean, for example, that cron and crontab would have to be
> recoded to support wide or multibyte characters?

"works with UTF-8" doesn't mean the same thing as "recoded to support
wide or multibyte characters".

For programs with no relevant text manipulation facilities (cron and
crontab), it's sufficient that UTF-8 is not mutilated.  [UTF-8 is
designed, remember, to be represented in terms of 8 bit characters.]

[For example, the linux kernel currently defaults to UTF-8 -- which
means almost nothing in most contexts.]

> If so, I object to making this a requirement.

I also object to any "requirements" which break existing software.

I don't see that has much to do with what's being discussed here.

> I also wonder about the performance impact, and the size impact
> (although I understand that UTF-8 uses single byte for ascii equivalent,
> so that shouldn't be much, right?)

Correct.  If someone puts UTF-8 into an error message or onto a command
line, that message or line will be different from what it was before.
That is all.

The trick isn't UTF-8.  The trick is incompatible character sets (a
problem we already have with national language character sets).

The actual pain that will be experienced in making UTF-8 the default
character set would be experienced by those people who rely the current
default (which in some contexts is ISO-8859-1 while in other contexts
the character set is explicitly chosen so there really isn't a default
to worry about).  Any other problem, we already have.


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