Re: unicode

Alex Belits (
Tue, 19 May 1998 10:32:56 -0700 (PDT)

On Tue, 19 May 1998, Theodore Y. Ts'o wrote:

> So it's fair to provide a compatibility/upgrade path for folks who did
> things the old, bad way, so that they can move to the new way which
> really *does* allow a filename to contain characters from multiple
> character sets (by using UTF-8 encoded ISO/IEC 646 characters). But to
> try to invent another mechanism for doing character set switches inside
> filenames is simply madness. (Such schemes usually only limit you to a
> limited number of character sets anyway.)

MIME headers encoding limits the number of charsets?

> Yes, it's hard. But internationalization in general is hard. Hacks
> which make a particular Linux system to be "Russian-only", or
> "German-only" is easier (which is basically what "just use your local
> charset is really all about"),

This is blatant misinformation. Filesystem does not become
"russian-only" or especially "german-only" because user can use whatever
charset he uses everywhere else, and since the content of files is in
local charset anyway, it's consistent and reasonable to use whatever
charset is in file content. Standardization of file content charset isn't
going to happen any soon, and even some of Unicode proponents agree with

> but that's not really an international
> version of Linux. That's just a version of Linux which specific for a
> specific country, and is no better than a English-centric Linux OS.

Again, there is nothing specific for any country in version of Linux
that can have users' files in their encodings as long as /etc, /usr and
others have their standard "English" names. Currently users and
programs handle encodings and charsets without any "help", and since users
are "country-specific" and have native languages, they probably will
remain that way at least for some centuries.


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