[Haskell-cafe] Core packages and locale support

Brandon S Allbery KF8NH allbery at ece.cmu.edu
Fri Jun 25 18:15:55 EDT 2010

Hash: SHA1

On 6/25/10 17:56 , Roman Cheplyaka wrote:
> * Brandon S Allbery KF8NH <allbery at ece.cmu.edu> [2010-06-25 05:00:08-0400]
>> You might want to look at how Python is dealing with this (including the
>> pain involved; best to learn from example).
> Do you mean the pain when filenames can not be decoded using current
> locale settings and thus the files are not accessible? (The same about
> environment variables.)

Yes, this.

> Agreed, it's unpleasant. The other way would be changing [Char] to [Word8]
> or ByteString. But this would a) break all existing programs and b) be
> an OS-specific hack. Crap.

But it *is* OS-specific, just as Windows' UTF-16 is an OS-specific
mechanism.  Unfortunately, there's no good solution in the Unix case aside
from assuming a specific encoding, and the locale is as good as any; but I
think LC_CTYPE is probably the most applicable.  This will, however, confuse
everyone else.

Perhaps best is to look at whether there is any consensus building as to how
to resolve it, and if not use locale but document it as an unstable
interface.  Or possibly just leave things as is until consensus develops.
It would be Bad to choose one (say, locale) only to have everyone else go in
a different direction (say, UTF-8 with the application libraries potentially
re-encoding filenames).

(The flip side of *that*, of course, is that everyone else (save GvR) may be
waiting for the same thing.  Which is why we look around first.  At worst it
may be a reason to push for something, perhaps as part of LSB and then
assumed anywhere that doesn't have its own solution.  I think the main
issues there would be *BSD, which is used to being on the wrong end of the
Linux stick, and Solaris which Oracle has helpfully (effectively; nobody
manning the rudders) nuked from orbit. :/ )

- -- 
brandon s. allbery     [linux,solaris,freebsd,perl]      allbery at kf8nh.com
system administrator  [openafs,heimdal,too many hats]  allbery at ece.cmu.edu
electrical and computer engineering, carnegie mellon university      KF8NH
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