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Re: unicode support and perl

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Marc Lehmann
September 15, 2000 14:12
Re: unicode support and perl
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On Fri, Sep 15, 2000 at 06:15:33PM +0100, Simon Cozens <> wrote:
> Yes, there are things you patched. I would have thought that if you'd patched
> them to your satisfaction you wouldn't be considering them a problem.

Well, I was not talking about my private patchy version of perl. I am not
concerned about at all. Also this list is not concerned about my private
version of perl, and leats you should be concerned about it.

What we should be concerned abotu is the version of perl available via
ftp/rsync/whatever to a large number of people.

I was talking about that version. And no, it does deifnitely not work to
my satisfaction (not even my patched version, but again, that shouldn't
concern you).

> you're still unhappy with them, I'll take another look at what you did. But I
> thought that you had no problems with them, and Jarkko had no problems with
> them, and they went in core, so...


> When I wrote that email, I only had access to my p5p mailbox

(which contained everything).

> rest of the stuff. I have no objection to hunting down UTF8 bugs all weekend
> as this is, unfortunately, what I do for fun. :)

Well, me too. Maybe less so in the future, as one probably has to take
drastic measures to not get ignored, and I fear I neither have the time
nor the energy to 1. debug perl for days and 2. send patches again and
again, to be get ignored.

> Uhm, odd. I've not seen any patches to string concatenation in the past week,

I haven't posted them in the past week. It would be clearly out of order,
even for me, to demand that patches would get looked at or discussed or
applied within a week. However, there are many postings that are three
weeks or even a few months old, and everybody who claims that they haven't
been ignored (maybe for good reason, again I am the last to force anybody
to read what I write!) should be prepared for battle.

My reasoning goes like this:

1. perl was, by all means, not usable for utf8 before I sent patches
2. my patches fix the biggest symptoms, but were mostly ignored
   (not declined but ignored)
3. weeks later people start disucssing fany API's for perl's brokenness
4. I was quite shocked, and reasoned that it reminding people that
   perl is unuable with respect to utf8 might be in order.

So yes, I can understand that it is hard when somebody accuses my hard
work as "unusable", but the fact that any efforts to change this were
ignored (like similar non-utf8-efforts in the past!) makes that comment
more than right. Even worse: "Obviously(*) they do not even care".

(*) for some "obviously" subjective definition of obvious (smile)

So yes, I was a bit harsh, but what has anybody done against that?

> with it. I don't know if they've had time, but I tend to avoid the regexp
> engine like the plague and try and work on things that a mere mortal can
> comprehend. 

Yes, this is all nice. Really, I understand what free software development
is all about, and I understand about communications problems, and I
understand about free time.

However, then people should understand that it is also quite right
to claim that something is "unusable", if it is and this doesn't
change. Trying to claim that everything works just fine costs a lot more
(namely, people who are under the impression that utf8 works, which,
according to the documentation, one would think have a great probability
of wasting their time, at the moment).

Claiming everything all right is *not* a good thing. Saying the truth
"perl+utf8 is unusable" is a lot more honest, don't you think?

> help out with fixing Unicode problems, and do you know what happened? Do you
> know why it's still broken? Not a single person came forward. No one cared.
> Nobody gave a damn. [1]

And that is why I wrote my dreaded comment :(

> doesn't help matters. Test cases help matters. Patches help matters. Cloning
> Simon would help matters, but test cases and patches are much easier to

Than another Simon? ;) 'tell you, I know another Simon, but he favours python
soo much...

Anyway, I didn't start to whine until AFTER I filed bug reports, waited,
debugged, waited, patched + sent in patches, waited... Yes, I was
*through* the bugreport-debug-sendpatch pipeline before complaining.

BTW, I am angry because of the "do something instead of whining" only, not
because of anything else.

> best I can do. I've half a mind to swear loudly and declare that if you care
> so much, you fix it.

Well, I thought so myself ("I need it fixed, so it's probabyl best if
I write the patches myself instead of relying on the overworked perl
hackers"), but even this does not work.....

      -----==-                                             |
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      ---==---(_)__  __ ____  __       Marc Lehmann      +--
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      -=====/_/_//_/\_,_/ /_/\_\       XX11-RIPE         --+
    The choice of a GNU generation                       |

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