Minutes from 10/5 internationalization ad-hoc meeting

Gillam, Richard gillam at lab126.com
Tue Oct 16 11:11:27 PDT 2012

What you're saying is directly in line with what the i18n group was thinking: Encoding conversion is still useful, but should probably be in a library of its own, not in the general i18n library.  I'm glad to see that this is happening.

--Rich Gillam

On Oct 16, 2012, at 9:18 AM, Joshua Bell wrote:

On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 5:51 PM, Gillam, Richard <gillam at lab126.com<mailto:gillam at lab126.com>> wrote:

Encoding conversion and detection.  Most of the time, text has already been converted to UTF-16 before it surfaces in JavaScript, so the use cases here basically all revolve around reading legacy file formats and communicating with external libraries that use a non-Unicode character encoding.  We tended to agree that these use cases will dwindle over time, so this functionality will decline in value over time.  The tables and code are also potentially big and complicated (depending on which/how many encodings an implementer chose to support, or we mandated support for), and we didn’t think we wanted all ES implementers to have to carry them around all the time.  Despite fairly strong objections from Google, we agreed this was out of scope and shouldn’t be in a general-purpose standard.


To support those use cases within browsers, I drafted an API [1] for encoding/decoding into/out of typed arrays, with plenty of input from the whatwg list. Going forward, Anne van Kesteren will be integrating it into his Encoding spec [2]..

I don't think this contradicts the above conclusions by the internationalization effort - the primary use case for non-legacy data is for encoding/decoding ES strings into/out of binary buffers as UTF-8. The secondary use case is for parsing legacy data formats where the Web is the target platform, not ES itself, so having this be a browser API makes sense.

Mozilla is apparently quite far along with an implementation.

[1] http://wiki.whatwg.org/index.php?title=StringEncoding
[2] http://encoding.spec.whatwg.org<http://encoding.spec.whatwg.org/>

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