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Re: Octet vs Char (Re: strings draft)

On Sun, 25 Jan 2004, Shiro Kawai wrote:

>I think using strings for binary I/O should be explicitly
>discouraged, even though an octet sequence can be represented by
>using such special characters.  It can be very inefficient
>on some implementations, and it may cause problems on ports
>that deals with character encodings.

Hear, Hear.  The standard goes out of its way to *not* assume
a particular character encoding and repertoire; it follows that
code relying on a particular character encoding in order to do
binary I/O is nonportable.

We should never need to know what the binary encoding of some
character 'C' is in order to write a .jpg file to disk, but as
matters stand we do.  It makes no damn sense that a program that
attempts to write a graphic format or a sound file has to rely
on ASCII encodings for characters and will fail if run on a
machine whose character encoding is different -- EBCDIC, or
utf-8, or utf-16, etc.  This program is not even manipulating
text; why should character encodings be capable of causing it to