Cult-like behaviour [was Re: Kindness]

Marko Rauhamaa marko at
Mon Jul 16 16:27:49 EDT 2018

Rhodri James <rhodri at>:

> On 16/07/18 20:40, Marko Rauhamaa wrote:
>> You mean each code point is one code point wide. But that's rather an
>> irrelevant thing to state. The main point is that UTF-32 (aka Unicode)
>> uses one or more code points to represent what people would consider an
>> individual character.
> UTF-32 != Unicode, but that's a separate esoteric argument.
> The problem everyone


> is having with you, Marko, is that you are using the terminology
> incorrectly. When you say that more than one codepoint can be used to
> represent what people would consider an individual character, you are
> correct (and would be more correct if you called "what people would
> consider an individual character" a "glyph"). When you call UTF-32 a
> variable-width encoding, you are incorrect.

Unicode is one of the primary selling points of Python3, and the
uninitiated are led to believe the false dichotomy between

 1. The ugly American who believes the whole world runs with ASCII and
    is happy with Python2.

 2. The refined cosmopolitan who can appreciate the ease with which
    Python3 brings them the whole world.

People (including "everyone" and the uninitiated) need to understand
that Unicode strings are no better at cosmopolitan code than UTF-8
inside byte strings. In their time, Windows and Java believed UCS-2 is
the solution to the woes of 8-bitness. They were sorely disappointed.
Python3 thought it could benefit from hindsight and went directly to
21-bit Unicode code points (plus surrogate characters, which really have
no business in Unicode strings). Alas, even that didn't cut it -- even
for the Americans, who are abandoning English in droves for hieroglyphs,
i.e., emojis.

> You are of course welcome to use whatever terminology you personally
> like, like Humpty Dumpty. However when you point to a duck and say
> "That's a gnu," people are likely to stop taking you seriously.

Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.


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