[I18n-sig] Re: [Python-Dev] Unicode debate

Guido van Rossum guido@python.org
Tue, 02 May 2000 15:58:20 -0400

> > So what do you think of my new proposal of using ASCII as the default
> > "encoding"?  

> I can live with it. I am mildly uncomfortable with the idea that I could
> write a whole bunch of software that works great until some European
> inserts one of their name characters.

Better than that when some Japanese insert *their* name characters and
it produces gibberish instead.

> Nevertheless, being hard-assed is
> better than being permissive because we can loosen up later.

Exactly -- just as nobody should *count* on 10**10 raising
OverflowError, nobody (except maybe parts of the standard library :-)
should *count* on unicode("\347") raising ValueError.  I think that's

> What do we do about str( my_unicode_string )? Perhaps escape the Unicode
> characters with backslashed numbers?

Hm, good question.  Tcl displays unknown characters as \x or \u
escapes.  I think this may make more sense than raising an error.

But there must be a way to turn on Unicode-awareness on e.g. stdout
and then printing a Unicode object should not use str() (as it
currently does).

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)