[Haskell-cafe] Re: String vs ByteString

Michael Snoyman michael at snoyman.com
Tue Aug 17 23:40:55 EDT 2010

Well, I'm not certain if it counts as a typical Chinese website, but here
are the stats;

UTF8: 64,198
UTF16: 113,160

And just for fun, after gziping:

UTF8: 17,708
UTF16: 19,367

On Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 2:59 AM, anderson leo <fireman119 at gmail.com> wrote:

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