Cult-like behaviour [was Re: Kindness]

Jim Lee jlee54 at
Sun Jul 15 21:02:51 EDT 2018

On 07/15/18 17:17, MRAB wrote:
> On 2018-07-16 00:10, Jim Lee wrote:
>> On 07/15/18 16:04, Chris Angelico wrote:
>>> You claimed that Unicode was insignificant to many programs. I'm
>>> trying to say that a Unicode text string is a vital part of any
>>> program that works with text, which is pretty much anything that talks
>>> to humans. You keep saying that ... well you keep saying different
>>> things, and I've lost track of what your point actually is, but you
>>> want a way to... disable Unicode? Or something? And you have yet to
>>> give any example of a program that doesn't need Unicode, but still
>>> uses text.
>>> ChrisA
>> Why does this seem so obtuse to you?
>> Have you never heard of programming BEFORE Unicode existed?
>> How ever did we get along?  It must have been a hallucination...
> It wasn't a hallucination, but it was annoying having to deal with 
> code pages.

Yes, it was.  However, dealing with Unicode is also annoying.  If there 
were only one encoding, such as UTF-8, I wouldn't mind so much.

> The UK had a version of ASCII that had £ instead of #, France had a 
> version that had both that and ç instead of some character, etc, and, 
> more than once, someone has posted here code that has ¥ instead of \.
> Someone on the Auxlang list used to complain about the alphabet used 
> by Esperanto because of some of its letters. He was eventually 
> persuaded to try switching to Unicode and UTF-8. He reported that the 
> switch was a lot easier than he'd expected (because, as had been 
> pointed out, any decent software he was using would already support 
> Unicode, or, if it didn't, there would be an alternative that did). 
> After the switch, he didn't see those letters as a problem any more!

But I don't speak Esperanto,  and my programs don't generally care what 
characters are used for European currencies.  When I create a simple 
program that takes a text file (created by me) and munges it into a 
different format, I don't care if someone from Uzbekistan can read it or 
not.  When I create a one-time use program to visualize some data on a 
graph, I don't care if anyone else can read the axis labels but me.  
These are realities.  A good programming language will allow for these 
realities without putting the burden on the programmer to turn *every* 
program into a politically correct, globalization compliant model of 
modern groupthink.


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