[Python-Dev] Bytes path support

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Tue Aug 26 04:47:24 CEST 2014

Isaac Morland writes:

 > I like your way of putting this - "straight face" indeed.  The third 
 > option really is a hack to allow working around nonsensical situations 
 > (and even the META tag is pretty questionable).  All this complexity 
 > because people can't be bothered to do things properly.

At least in Japan and Russia, doing things "properly" in your sense in
heterogenous distributed systems is really hard, requiring use of
rather fragile encoding detection heuristics that break at the
slightest whiff of encodings that are unusual in the particular
locale, and in Japan requiring equally fragile transcoding programs
that break on vendor charset variations.  The META "charset" attribute
is useful in those contexts, and the "charset" attribute for external
elements may have been useful in the past as well, although I've never
needed it.

I agree that an environment where "charset" attributes on META and
other elements are needed kinda sucks, but the prerequisite for "doing
things properly" is basically Unicode[1], and that just wasn't going
to happen until at least the 1990s.  To make the transition in less
than several decades would have required a degree of monopoly in
software production that I shudder to contemplate.  Even today there
are programmers around the world grumbling about having to deal with
the Unicode coded character set.

[1]  More precisely, a universal coded character set.  TRON code or
MULE code would have done (but yuck!)  ISO 2022 won't do!

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