When
· Naughties
· · 2006
· · · June
· · · · 19 (2 entries)

Unicode Blues · In the past few days I’ve been watch­ing two de­bates on the sub­ject of Uni­code; one on the main IETF general-discussion list, and an­oth­er on ruby-talk (there must be a bet­ter archive). In IETF-land, the el­ders are once again con­vinc­ing each oth­er that In­ter­net Stan­dards need not be writ­ten in a way that al­lows char­ac­ters oth­er than ASCII; thus, for ex­am­ple, you can’t cor­rect­ly record the names of con­trib­u­tors like Bill de hÓra or Martin Dürst; nor can you il­lus­trate any dis­cus­sions of net­work pro­to­cols which car­ry pay­loads oth­er than those which can be ex­pressed in primitively-typeset English. I have a lot of the re­spect for the IETF’s achieve­ments, but I think my re­vul­sion at this in­sti­tu­tion­al big­otry will prob­a­bly soon drive me out of the or­ga­ni­za­tion. In Ruby-land, it seems that Matz has spo­ken, and Ruby, the next gen­er­a­tion, will have a won­der­ful String class that deals with ev­ery­thing; han­dling Uni­code, which they see as un­ac­cept­ably lim­it­ed, as mere­ly one case among many. This think­ing seems deeply bro­ken to me but I am on­ly shal­low­ly im­mersed in Ru­by and don’t un­der­stand the Han Uni­fi­ca­tion angst that is at the root of things. I don’t have much in­flu­ence in ei­ther com­mu­ni­ty (which is ap­pro­pri­ate, I haven’t earned it). I’ll raise my voice for, what that’s worth, to ar­gue that get­ting Uni­code re­al­ly right is a nec­es­sary con­di­tion for be­ing a tech­nol­o­gy provider in the third mil­len­ni­um, and may prove to be suf­fi­cient, in­so­far as internationalized-text is­sues go. I’m not op­ti­mistic that this will make any dif­fer­ence. But if ei­ther com­mu­ni­ty de­cides to give Uni­code a se­ri­ous go, I’ll vol­un­teer to pitch in, to work to make it work.
 
2006 World Cup, and More · I watched two com­plete games and parts of an­oth­er two, this week­end, and... played in one! Fathers’ Day, you betcha ...
 
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