Full Unicode strings strawman

Boris Zbarsky bzbarsky at MIT.EDU
Tue May 17 10:43:23 PDT 2011

On 5/17/11 1:40 PM, Brendan Eich wrote:
> On May 17, 2011, at 10:37 AM, Boris Zbarsky wrote:
>> On 5/17/11 1:27 PM, Brendan Eich wrote:
>>> On May 17, 2011, at 10:22 AM, Boris Zbarsky wrote:
>>>> Yes.  And right now that's how it works and actual JS authors typically don't have to worry about encoding issues.  I don't agree with Allen's claim that "in the long run JS in the browser is going to have to be able to deal with arbitrary encodings".  Having the _capability_ might be nice, but forcing all web authors to think about it seems like a non-starter.
>>> Allen said "be able to", not "forcing". Big difference. I think we three at least are in agreement here.
>> I think we're in agreement on the sentiment, but perhaps not on where on the "able to" to "forcing" spectrum this strawman falls.
> Where do you read "forcing"? Not in the words you cited.

In the substance of having strings in different encodings around at the 
same time.  If that doesn't force developers to worry about encodings, 
what does, exactly?

>>> I mean UTF-16 flowing through, but as you say that happens now -- but (I reply) only if JS doesn't mess with things in a UCS-2 way (indexing 16-bits at a time, ignoring surrogates). And JS code does generally assume 16 bits are enough.
>>> With Allen's proposal we'll finally have some new APIs for JS developers to use.
>> That doesn't answer my questions....
> Ok, full Unicode means non-BMP characters not being wrongly treated as two uint16 units and miscounted, separated or partly deleted by splicing and slicing, etc.
> IOW, JS grows to treat strings as "full Unicode", not uint16 vectors. This is a big deal!

OK, but still allows sticking non-Unicode gunk into the strings, right? 
  So they're still vectors of "something".  Whatever that something is.

> Hope this helps,

Halfway.  The DOM interaction questions remain unanswered.  Seriously, I 
think we should try to make a list of the issues there, the pitfalls 
that would arise for web developers as a result, then go through and see 
how and whether to address them.  Then we'll have a good basis for 
considering the web compat impact....


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