[Python-Dev] Re: python/dist/src/Objectsunicodeobject.c, 2.204, 2.205

Martin v. Löwis martin at v.loewis.de
Sat Dec 20 05:23:43 EST 2003

"David LeBlanc" <whisper at oz.net> writes:

> I would think the lesson to be learned from this is that one should
> not lock the software into any particular number of bits per
> character. The coming flood of 64 bit machines could make 16 bit
> unicode attractive.

You are talking about an entirely different issue here. This thread is
about the number of bits in a "char", which, in C, is the same thing
as a "byte". The number of bits for a "character" is independent.

16-bit Unicode is attractive already, although it is dying, to make
place for 32-bit Unicode. However, new 64-bit architectures will make
sure they support an 8-bit data type, and compiler vendors will make
sure that "char" maps to that 8-bit data type (most likely, they also
will make char signed by default). There is just too much software
that breaks if you could not address bytes anymore. Primarily, the
entire networking interfaces would break down, which is a risk that
new architectures are unlikely to take.

> It's an ever more global world and "we" should keep in mind that in
> the next decade most of the world's programming is going to be done
> in India and China if American corporations have their way.

Certainly, but unrelated to the issue at hand.


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