[Python-Dev] Unicode

Guido van Rossum guido@python.org
Fri, 26 Apr 2002 08:23:51 -0400

> True; and it was hard enough to get it mostly to a working 
> compromise.

Let me add that I very much appreciate your heroic efforts there!!!

> Very true indeed. Still, I think Unicode gives a chance of
> "fixing" the problem we currently have with strings: Unicode
> is unlike strings only usable for text data and that makes
> it ideal as standard type for text -- we'll never convince
> people to make a difference between text and binary data in
> strings, so offering them Unicode as alternative is a good
> strategy, IMHO.

It's a long way before we're there though -- we'd have to overhaul the
I/O system entirely, and that takes a lot of time not just because of
the effort but also because it won't be fully compatible.

Also, once 8-bit strings are used for binary data only, I wonder if
they shouldn't be more like Java's byte arrays -- i.e. mutable.  And
they don't need a literal notation.  That's another major language
change. :-(

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