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RE: JIT-compilation for OCaml?
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Date: 2001-01-12 (09:14)
From: John Max Skaller <skaller@o...>
Subject: Re: JIT-compilation for OCaml?
Alain Frisch wrote:
> What are you calling 'Unicode' ?  For me it is the 'Unicode standard'
> from the 'Unicode consortium' (http://www.unicode.org/), and it doesn't
> seem like it was abandoned. Actually, it is in sync with ISO/IEC 10646
> as for the character set.

	Perhaps I should have been clearer: the Unicode consortium
is indeed active, and is one of the main players in the ISO-10646
and related standards forum. It is also responsible for making
data available freely, unlike ISO and National Standards Bodies,
for I am very thankful.

	What I meant was that, as a separate
Standard, Unicode is considered archaic: it is subsumed by ISO-10646.
No one should provide (merely) Unicode support in a modern language, 
(IMHO) they should provide ISO-10646 support. 

	ISO usually provides the basis for National
Standards when these exist, for example the  US National Standard
for C++ is a rubber stamp of the ISO one (although the US was the
main, but not only, contributor to the formation of the document).

	Unicode was useful in the days when industry couldn't
wait for international consensus, but that consensus now exists,
and the standard to use for international character sets is ISO-10646,
not Unicode. This does require more work, since while tables
of size 2^16 words are viable, 2^31 generally isn't. However
the 2^31 code points leave plenty of room for expansion, while
Unicode is already too small to encode all the world's languages
(although the coverage is quite good), in particular,
there's little room for extensive coverage of mathematical symbols.

	Note that some government type projects require conformance
to ISO standards, and merely providing Unicode may threaten the 
commerical viability of a product. For example, countries like
Australia and New Zealand have a need for working with text in
many languages, and they're likely to require ISO-10646,
since it has scope to include Aboriginal and Maori, which 
Unicode does not.

	I note that Unicode is still important, because many
operating systems support Unicode filenames, and some programming
languages like Java and Python provide Unicode support. 
One still has to support 'legacy' systems.

	[BTW: Java's lack of ISO-10646 support would likely
have been an obstacle in the process of ISO Standardisation,
had that been followed through]

John (Max) Skaller, mailto:skaller@maxtal.com.au
10/1 Toxteth Rd Glebe NSW 2037 Australia voice: 61-2-9660-0850
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