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Re: the utf8 flag (was Re: [perl #41527] decode_utf8 sets utf8 flag on plain ascii strings)

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Marc Lehmann
March 30, 2007 15:25
Re: the utf8 flag (was Re: [perl #41527] decode_utf8 sets utf8 flag on plain ascii strings)
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On Fri, Mar 30, 2007 at 11:28:44PM +0200, Juerd Waalboer <> wrote:
> Information overload is probably the single most problematic thing in
> Perl's unicode documentation. Constantly people are told all those
> internal implementation details that they don't have to know.

Exactly. If they wouldn't have to care for those internals it would be much
simpler, abstracted away. But thats not reality.

> wonder that they start assuming that they actually need this
> information, and use manual setting of UTF8 flags as their first resort
> in case of trouble.

If you send a compressed string over the network using JSON and decompress
it, you need to know that. Evem if you do pure perl only. And, as I do a
lot of network protocols, this never hurts me as I know how and when perl
upgrades/downgrades and whats broken or not.

It does hurt other people constantly though, and I do not understand why
it has to be that way if the fix were conceptually simple and aligned with
existing usage.

In my talk for example I only hinted at the implementation details and
told people to ignore it, but when they get weird bugs, they might look
into that.

My problem is not that there are bugs. My problem is that those bugs are
not beign fixed because of truely hilarious reasons such as that obscure
rfereence in the camelbook, so all have to suffer, while other, similar
bugs, have official bug status and get fixed.

I am really frustrated at that. It makes perl as a whole rather questionable
for unicode use, as you constantly have to think about the internals.

And yes, that simply shouldn't be the case.

                The choice of a
      -----==-     _GNU_
      ----==-- _       generation     Marc Lehmann
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