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Re: binary vs non-binary ports

This page is part of the web mail archives of SRFI 56 from before July 7th, 2015. The new archives for SRFI 56 contain all messages, not just those from before July 7th, 2015.

Hans Oesterholt-Dijkema wrote:

I think, one should not interfere with the creative process of software engineers by limiting the possibilities of the language at hand.

I get nervous when I hear about the "creative process of software

2. In the protocol of many instant messengers, both text and
binary protocols are mixed. To communicate a ZIP file, binary
protocol is used, to communicate (meta) information, text
protocol is used.

Well, yes.  The points I'm making are:
* One layers text i/o on top of binary i/o.
* A SRFI for binary i/o has to specify how to open a file
in "binary mode".
* Portable programs cannot assume they can do binary i/o
on ports opened in the default character mode, unless we
make unreasonable demands on implementors.
* Reading/writing characters/strings from/to character
mode ports is tricky.
* Most file formats that mix text and binary i/o do *not* handle
general strings: often they only support whatever character encoding
the "creative" engineers are most familiar with.
* I/O APIs designed by people unfamiliar with internationalization
issues often have problems in today's internationalized world.
* A quick-and-dirty fix is often to specify that strings are in UTF8.
	--Per Bothner
per@xxxxxxxxxxx   http://per.bothner.com/