Peter B. West wrote:

> (I wouldn't say it was heated.)  I am curious about the impact of
> someone working without any formal IDE, and just using (X)Emacs and JDEE
> for development.  As far as I know, XEmacs does not support Unicode, but
> if the non-ASCII characters were restricted to comments, and XEmacs
> thought it was dealing with ISO-8859-15, would there be any actual
> problems?  ASCII nulls aren't gling to appear in such UTF8 are they?

As long as 1) the editor doesn't think it needs to change the content when
opening or saving the file, and 2) the non-ASCII characters don't mess up
the editor's display, I don't think there is any problem. The first issue is
easy to test by opening the file, saving as something else, and diffing.
Since control characters have the same code points in ASCII and UTF-8, the
second problem should be a non-issue.

I never bit the emacs bullet, and don't directly know the impact there. In
vi, and Notepad (as in most other non-Unicode editors), you'll see the two
(or more) bytes displayed in their single-byte forms, which makes sense.

I had to look it up to be sure it is true for control characters as well,
but the UTF-8 range 00-7F always represents a single-byte character, so
there should be no ASCII nulls (at least not as the result of an
ASCII-to-UTF-8 conversion).

The affected changes can be seen at:
Of course, the files affected are listed there as well if you would like to
test them in your favorite editor.

It may be true that it is safer in the short-term to either 1) eliminate
such characters, or 2) encode them in the \uxxxx format, but I think it
probably makes more sense to simply say that we all need to work in a
Unicode-aware environment or at least a non-Unicode-hostile one. Either way,
this is probably something that we should document in the style guide.

Victor Mote

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