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Re: Solving the *real* Dot Problem

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David Golden
July 7, 2011 07:43
Re: Solving the *real* Dot Problem
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On Thu, Jul 7, 2011 at 3:17 AM, Johan Vromans <> wrote:
> Tom Christiansen <> writes:
>> The Dot Problem will never be solved until people start thinking in
>> Unicode not ASCII. Otherwise you’ll “solve” the “wrong” “problem”.
> Not quite. I think you had the tiger by the tail one sentence earlier:
>> […] let’s please step back and evaluate the original sense of “.” […]
> This is what matters. What is the intended purpose of “.”?
> Originally, the intention was to be able to match ‘lines’ in a blob of
> data slurped from a disk file. Files at the time were newline separated
> streams of single-byte characters, so “.” matched any byte except \x0a
> (newline). That this assumption would not hold in the longer term became
> apparent when Windows, Mac, VMS and EBCDIC files came into
> consideration.
> Should we want our new “.” to acquire the originally intended meaning,
> we first must decide what makes up lines in files in the modern Unicode
> world.

Notwithstanding the validity of Tom's diagnosis of the bigger issues,
+1 for this insight alone.

If the most common case is arguably still "let me slurp a line of
input", then we should attempt to preserve that semantic.

-- David

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