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Re: Solving the *real* Dot Problem

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From:
David Golden
Date:
July 7, 2011 07:43
Subject:
Re: Solving the *real* Dot Problem
Message ID:
CAOeq1c_4oMcu66=kNfuEBVN=5MK0tzXxi54_AbLVYtSUuhygJQ@mail.gmail.com
On Thu, Jul 7, 2011 at 3:17 AM, Johan Vromans <jvromans@squirrel.nl> wrote:
> Tom Christiansen <tchrist@perl.com> 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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