[Python-Dev] Bytes path support

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Wed Aug 27 04:52:46 CEST 2014

Nikolaus Rath writes:

 > In that case, maybe it'd be nice to also explain why you use the
 > term "bilingual" for codepage based encoding.

Modern computing systems are written in languages which are invariably
based on syntax expressed using ASCII, and provide by default
functionality for expressing dates etc suitable for rendering American
English.  Thus ASCII (ie, American English) is always an available
language.  Code pages provide facilities for rendering one or more
languages languages sharing a common coded character set, but are
unsuitable for rendering most of the rest of the world's dozens of
language groups (grouping languages by common character set).

Multilingual has come to mean "able to express (almost) any set of
languages in a single text" (see, for example, Emacs's "HELLO" file),
not just "more than two".  So code pages are closer in spirit to
"bilingual" (two of many) than to "multilingual" (all of many).

It's messy, analogical terminology.  But then, natural language is
messy and analogical.<wink/>

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