[Haskell-cafe] Re: String vs ByteString

anderson leo fireman119 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 17 19:59:41 EDT 2010

Hi michael, here is a web site http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-cn/. It is the
wikipedia for Chinese.


On Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 7:00 PM, Michael Snoyman <michael at snoyman.com>wrote:

> On Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 1:50 PM, Yitzchak Gale <gale at sefer.org> wrote:
>> Ketil Malde wrote:
>> > I haven't benchmarked it, but I'm fairly sure that, if you try to fit a
>> > 3Gbyte file (the Human genome, say¹), into a computer with 4Gbytes of
>> > RAM, UTF-16 will be slower than UTF-8...
>> I don't think the genome is typical text. And
>> I doubt that is true if that text is in a CJK language.
>> > I think that *IF* we are aiming for a single, grand, unified text
>> > library to Rule Them All, it needs to use UTF-8.
>> Given the growth rate of China's economy, if CJK isn't
>> already the majority of text being processed in the world,
>> it will be soon. I have seen media reports claiming CJK is
>> now a majority of text data going over the wire on the web,
>> though I haven't seen anything scientific backing up those claims.
>> It certainly seems reasonable. I believe Google's measurements
>> based on their own web index showing wide adoption of UTF-8
>> are very badly skewed due to a strong Western bias.
>> In that case, if we have to pick one encoding for Data.Text,
>> UTF-16 is likely to be a better choice than UTF-8, especially
>> if the cost is fairly low even for the special case of Western
>> languages. Also, UTF-16 has become by far the dominant internal
>> text format for most software and for most user platforms.
>> Except on desktop Linux - and whether we like it or not, Linux
>> desktops will remain a tiny minority for the foreseeable future.
>>  I think you are conflating two points here, and ignoring some important
> data. Regarding the data: you haven't actually quoted any statistics about
> the prevalence of CJK data, but even if the majority of web pages served are
> in those three languages, a fairly high percentage of the content will
> *still* be ASCII, due simply to the HTML, CSS and Javascript overhead. I'd
> hate to make up statistics on the spot, especially when I don't have any
> numbers from you to compare them with.
> As far as the conflation, there are two questions with regard to the
> encoding choice: encoding/decoding time and space usage. I don't think
> *anyone* is asserting that UTF-16 is a common encoding for files anywhere,
> so by using UTF-16 we are simply incurring an overhead in every case. We
> can't consider a CJK encoding for text, so its prevalence is irrelevant to
> this topic. What *is* relevant is that a very large percentage of web pages
> *are*, in fact, standardizing on UTF-8, and that all 7-bit text files are by
> default UTF-8.
> As far as space usage, you are correct that CJK data will take up more
> memory in UTF-8 than UTF-16. The question still remains whether the overall
> document size will be larger: I'd be interested in taking a random sampling
> of CJK-encoded pages and comparing their UTF-8 and UTF-16 file sizes. I
> think simply talking about this in the vacuum of data is pointless. If
> anyone can recommend a CJK website which would be considered representative
> (or a few), I'll do the test myself.
> Michael
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