To show or not to show french accents

Marcin Benke marcin at
Fri Dec 19 17:52:37 EST 2003


>>The problem is that if you are reading single bytes, 233 is
>>not necessarily é.
>Erm, Internationalisation is not my thin as such... but I can't help
>commenting that from a systems point of view this is an utterly bad
>sitiation to be in... I though Haskell used unicode? I thought in unicode
>the id of a character was fixed irrespective of language. Where is
>unicode support lacking?
>	Regards,
>	Keean Schupke.
quoting from the latest version of Unicode standard:

"The Unicode Standard specifies a numeric value (code point) and a name 
for each of its characters.[...]
Unicode provides for three encoding forms: a 32-bit form (UTF-32), a 
16-bit form (UTF- 16), and an 8-bit form (UTF-8)."

Hence in Unicode proper, characters are encoded as numbers (or actually 
"code points"), not bytes. The byte-oriented encoding variant is UTF-8.

In UTF-8, however the byte "233" does not represent any character on its 
own, but can only occur as the first byte of a 3 byte sequence. OTOH, 
UTF-8 encodes characters in ASCII range in the same way as ASCII.

    Marcin Benke

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